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Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 14th March, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 14 March 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

PM Modi lays foundation stone of 3 semiconductor projects worth ₹1.25 lakh crore
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of three semiconductor projects worth about ₹1.25 lakh crore via video conferencing. He also addressed youth across the country on the occasion.

PM Modi lays foundation stone of 3 semiconductor projects worth ₹1.25 lakh crore

  • The foundation stone was laid for three crucial projects: the Semiconductor fabrication facility at the Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR), Gujarat; Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test (OSAT) facilities at Morigaon in Assam, and Sanand in Gujarat.
  • The semiconductor fabrication facility at the Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR) will be established by Tata Electronics Private Limited (TEPL) under the Modified Scheme for setting up semiconductor fabs in India. With an investment exceeding Rs. 91,000 crore, this will mark the inauguration of the country’s first commercial semiconductor fab.
  • The Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test facility in Morigaon will be developed by Tata Electronics Private Limited (TEPL) under the Modified Scheme for Semiconductor Assembly, Testing, Marking, and Packaging (ATMP), with an investment of about ₹27,000 crore.
  • The OSAT facility in Sanand will be established by CG Power and Industrial Solutions Limited under the Modified Scheme for Semiconductor Assembly, Testing, Marking, and Packaging (ATMP), with an investment of approximately ₹7,500 crore.

India signs protocol for establishment of its first bilateral institutional mechanism with Dominican Republic on trade and commerce
The protocol for establishment of Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) between India and Dominican Republic was signed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX) of Dominican Republic at Santo Domingo. 

India signs protocol for establishment of its first bilateral institutional mechanism with Dominican Republic on trade and commerce

  • The protocol was signed by H.E. Mr. Roberto Álvarez, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Dominican Republic and Mr. Ramu Abbagani, Ambassador of India to the Dominican Republic on behalf of the Department of Commerce.
  • The Union Cabinet had approved the proposal for signing of the said protocol for establishment of JETCO on January 24, 2024. The agreement, signed in the 25 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, is an important step to elevate the existing economic and commercial relations further.
  • The protocol envisages to strengthen and develop cooperation on trade, services, industrial technologies and various other sectors by means of technical assistance, training programmes and capacity building. It will be pivotal in mitigating challenges faced by the trade and industry and provide a platform for sharing of knowledge and best practices between the two countries.

Bharat SaaS Yatra commences journey from Bhubaneswar
The Bharat SaaS Yatra, an initiative to celebrate and nurture India’s Software as a Service (SaaS) sector, commenced its journey from Bhubaneswar. The inauguration ceremony, held at Srusti Academy of Management in association with Startup Odisha, was attended by over 100 prominent people and industry stakeholders.

Bharat SaaS Yatra commences journey from Bhubaneswar

  • The aim of  Bharat SaaS Yatra, to celebrate the resilience, innovation, and collective spirit of India’s SaaS community, while paving the way for a future filled with limitless possibilities. 
  • The Yatra will traverse through 20 cities across the country, orchestrating immersive SaaS exhibitions to showcase the accomplishments of the SaaS ecosystem. 

MoRD Partnered With IIT Delhi For Geospatial Tech & AI Applications
The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and IIT Delhi have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on geospatial technology and artificial intelligence (AI) in rural development

MoRD Partnered With IIT Delhi For Geospatial Tech & AI Applications

  • The alliance intends to use technology to improve the effectiveness and transparency of rural development efforts. The MoU represents a collaborative effort to address rural difficulties using technological solutions, establishing a model for effective collaboration between academia and government.
  • The MoU is focused on “BhuPRAHARI,” an ambitious project designed to utiliSe both terrestrial and satellite-based geospatial technologies, in conjunction with Artificial Intelligence, for the monitoring and management of assets under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
  • The project is to be executed by the HydroSense lab led by Prof. Manabendra Saharia. This collaboration is a commitment to harnessing the power of technology for the betterment of rural development processes.

NIELIT, ITI Egypt sign MoU to enhance workforce skills and foster international cooperation
The National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) in India and the Information Technology Institute (ITI) in Egypt signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance workforce skills, promote employment opportunities, address skills gaps, and foster international cooperation. 

NIELIT, ITI Egypt sign MoU to enhance workforce skills and foster international cooperation

  • The agreement was signed by the NIELIT Director General, MM Tripathi and Egypt’s ITI Chairman, Heba Saleh to promote cooperation and collaboration in the IECT domain.
  • Under the MoU, both the insititues intend to collaborate in multiple areas including curriculam and traing materials development and sharing virtual labs facilities.

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar Inaugurates India’s 1st FutureLABS center at C-DAC Thiruvananthapuram
Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Skill Development, Entrepreneurship and Jal Shakti, Rajeev Chandrasekhar inaugurated India’s first FutureLABS center in C-DAC Thiruvananthapuram. 

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar Inaugurates India’s 1st FutureLABS center at C-DAC Thiruvananthapuram

  • This center, namely, “Centre for Semiconductor Chips & Systems for Strategic Electronics”, will be playing a crucial role in catalyzing an ecosystem for next generation chip design, manufacturing, and research.
  • Among the other announcements, there was a collaboration announced between C-DAC (T) and the Ministry of Railways for the development of electric locomotive technologies. An MoU was signed between C-DAC(T) and Tata Power for the development and deployment of microgrid technologies. 
  • There was also the announcement for the transfer of technology of the electric vehicle wireless charger, developed by C-DAC(T) and VNIT Nagpur, to BelRise Industries Limited.

Secretary, Earth Sciences co-chairs the 1st ‘Blue Talks’ meeting on Ocean Health and Governance
The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), hosted the 1st ‘Blue Talks’ meeting in New Delhi. The meeting was co-partnered by the Embassy of France and Embassy of Costa Rica in India. More than 50 participants from government, academia and research institutes witnessed the in-person, high level deliberations on matters related to ‘Ocean Health and Governance’. 

Secretary, Earth Sciences co-chairs the 1st ‘Blue Talks’ meeting on Ocean Health and Governance

  • This meeting is a forerunner to the upcoming High-Level Event on Ocean Action (HLEOA) event ‘Immersed in Change’ scheduled to be held on 7th-8th June, 2024 in San Jose, Costa Rica. On a larger perspective, ‘HLEOA’ is a precursor event to gather recommendations and visions for the upcoming United Nations Ocean Conference (UNOC3).
  • The core aim of the 1st Blue Talks meeting were to i) to exchange good practices and successful experiences on topics related to the governance and health of the ocean, ii) to seek recommendations and inputs from various stakeholders, both governmental and non-governmental, iii) to reflect and to feed into the preparation of UNOC3 and iv) to seek specific implementation actions in order to address the concerns over the ocean’s health.

Enrolment under PMFBY increase by 27 % in current year so far
In past 8 Years of implementation of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)56.80 crore farmer applications have been enrolled and over 23.22 crore farmer applicants received claims. 

Enrolment under PMFBY increase by 27 % in current year so far

  • During this period, nearly Rs. 31,139 crore were paid by farmers as their share of premium against which claims of over Rs. 1,55,977 crore have been paid to them. Thus, for every 100 rupees of premium paid by farmers, they have received about Rs. 500 as claims.
  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) is a demand driven scheme and is voluntary for the States as well as farmers. The number of farmer applications has grown 33.4% and 41% year-on-year during 2021-22 and 2022-23, respectively. 
  • Further, during the year 2023-24, there in an increase of 27% in terms of farmers enrolled under the scheme so far. Also 42% of total farmers insured under the scheme in FY 2023-24 are non-loanee farmers.

Maharashtra Cabinet makes mother’s name mandatory in government documents
The Maharashtra Cabinet made it mandatory to include the name of the mother in all government documents such as Aadhaar and PAN cards. The order will be implemented from May. 

Maharashtra Cabinet makes mother’s name mandatory in government documents

  • Those born on or after May 1, 2014, will have to register their mother’s names for school, revenue documents, examination certificates and salary slips. 
  • The state government has also asked the public health department to consult with the Centre on whether the mother’s name can also be included in birth and death registrations. 
  • For married women, the existing system of the woman’s name followed by her husband’s first name and surname will continue.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

World Bank, Gates, UN pledge close to $600m to end cervical cancer
The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that the World Bank, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and UNICEF have committed nearly $600 million to eliminate cervical cancer.

World Bank, Gates, UN pledge close to $600m to end cervical cancer

  • Announced during the Global Cervical Cancer Elimination forum, the first global convening dedicated to fighting the disease, which was held in Cartagena, Colombia the commitment includes $400 million over three years from World Bank, $180 million from the Gates Foundation, and $10 million from UNICEF, with funding to support expanding access to vaccination, screening, and treatment worldwide.
  • The event aims to draw more government, donor, and civil society support for the World Health Organization’s Global Strategy for Cervical Cancer Elimination, which puts forth a plan for eradicating the disease through vaccination, screening and treatment.


BANKING & FINANCE

Bank of Baroda launches green term deposit scheme with 7.15% interest
Bank of Baroda (BoB) has announced the launch of the bob Earth Green Term Deposit Scheme, aimed at raising deposits for financing eligible environment-friendly projects and sectors, the bank said in a release. 

Bank of Baroda launches green term deposit scheme with 7.15% interest

  • The scheme offers customers the dual benefits of stable financial returns and contribution to a greener planet. Funds collected through this scheme will be directed towards financing green initiatives such as renewable energy and clean transportation, said the bank.
  • It offers annual interest rates, ranging from 6.75 per cent for a tenure of 12 to 18 months to 7.15 per cent for 777 days. Additionally, for longer tenures of 1,111 days, 1,717 days, and 2,201 days, the interest rates are set at 6.40 per cent per annum.

Aurionpro Solutions inks 6-year contract with State Bank of India
Aurionpro Solutions announced a significant order win from the State Bank of India (SBI) for the license, implementation and support of iCashpro+, its next-gen cash management and transaction banking platform. 

Aurionpro Solutions inks 6-year contract with State Bank of India

  • This highly prestigious win, valued close to Rs 100 crore includes license and implementation, to be delivered in phases over 12 months, followed by maintenance and support for 6 years.
  • Aurionpro’s iCashpro+ solution is built on modern cloud technology and a micro services based architecture which incorporates the latest market features, rendering it highly configurable, parameterized, resilient, scalable, and agile. 
  • This will seamlessly integrate with SBI’s core banking systems, Payments Hub, and a myriad of internal and external platforms.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Google collaborates with ECI to enable voters to discover critical voting information
Google has partnered with the Election Commission of India (ECI) to provide authoritative information on voting processes for the upcoming general elections via Google Search and YouTube videos.

Google collaborates with ECI to enable voters to discover critical voting information

  • Google has said that there will also be authoritative information via YouTube videos on how to register and vote in general elections, besides candidate information.
  • Additionally, Google has, in separate initiatives, taken new measures to combat misinformation and help people navigate AI content in the upcoming election season.
  • The new measures, ahead of the 2024 general elections, include tech giant’s move to support Shakti, India Election Fact-Checking Collective, a consortium of news publishers and fact-checkers in India. 

Sidbi gets $24.5 million from Green Climate Fund for its Avaana Sustainability Fund
Development bank SIDBI said it has secured approval from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for its first anchored project, Avaana Sustainability Fund (ASF), valued at $120 million.

Sidbi gets $24.5 million from Green Climate Fund for its Avaana Sustainability Fund

  • The closure was announced at the 38th board meeting of the GCF, which will invest $24.5 million in the fund, in Kigali, Rwanda, on March 5, SIDI, an accredited entity of GCF, said in a statement.
  • ASF is a $120 Mn venture capital fund that aims to invest in early-stage climate tech startups in India. With the $120 Mn kitty, the fund will be investing in startups and MSMEs in sectors like sustainable resource management, mobility and supply chains, and sustainable agriculture and food systems. 
  • The fund will also be looking to invest in low-carbon and climate-resilient businesses. 

L&T Finance signs $125-m pact with JICA to aid rural, peri-urban financing
L&T Finance Holdings Ltd (LTFH) has signed a financing pact with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for $125 million to support financing in rural and peri-urban areas in India, particularly women borrowers. This is the second such fund raise by the company in the past four months.

L&T Finance signs $125-m pact with JICA to aid rural, peri-urban financing

  • At least 40% of the funds will be allocated to women borrowers while the rest will be disbursed to farmers, MSMEs, and two-wheeler loans. Last November, L&T Finance sourced $125 million from Asia Development Bank for a similar lending programme.

Mandaviya launches SIDBI scheme for Jan Aushadi Kendra operators
Health and Chemicals & Fertilisers Minister Mansukh Mandaviya launched the credit assistance scheme of SIDBI for Jan Aushadi Kendra operators will strengthen and help in further expanding the network.

Mandaviya launches SIDBI scheme for Jan Aushadi Kendra operators

  • The loan from SIDBI will be made available to small operators of Jan Aushadi Kendra without any collateral, he said after launching the scheme and a dedicated website for this. The scheme of SIDBI will help operators of Jan Aushadi Kendra for starting a business or expanding. 
  • The credit guarantee on such loans whether working capital or term loan is being provided by Credit Guarantee Fund Trust For Micro And Small Enterprises (CGTMSE).
  • The government has set a target to have 25,000 Janaushadhi Kendras across the country by March 31, 2026. Till January 31, 2024, about 10,624 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras (PMBJKs) were functional across the country.

Tata Power Solar completes India’s largest solar-BESS project in Chhattisgarh
Tata Power Solar Systems Limited (TPSSL), a subsidiary of Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited (TPREL), completed India’s largest Solar and Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) project in Chhattisgarh.

Tata Power Solar completes India's largest solar-BESS project in Chhattisgarh

  • It comprises a 100 MW Solar PV Project and a 120 MWh Utility Scale Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). TPSSL secured the Rs 945 crore project from SECI in December 2021, handling engineering, construction, and commissioning.
  • The project anticipates generating 243.53 million energy units annually, cutting carbon emissions by 4.87 million tonnes over 25 years, aligning with India’s renewable energy targets. Tata AutoComp Systems Limited supplied the BESS, reflecting a commitment to excellence and collaboration.

FDI inflows decline 13 pc to $ 32 billion in Apr-Dec 2023
Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in India declined 13 per cent to $ 32.03 billion in April-December 2023, dragged down by lower infusion in computer hardware and software, telecom, auto, and pharma sectors, according to the latest government data.

Outward FDI rises 25.7% to $2.1 billion in January, shows RBI data

  • FDI inflows stood at $ 36.74 billion during the corresponding nine months of the preceding fiscal.
  • Inflows during the October-December quarter of the current fiscal, however, rose by 18 per cent to $ 11.6 billion as against $ 9.83 billion during the same quarter of 2022-23. 
  • The total FDI — which includes equity inflows, reinvested earnings and other capital — declined by about 7 per cent to $ 51.5 billion during the period under review against $ 55.27 billion in April-December 2022, the data from the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) showed.


SPORTS

F1 champion Max Verstappen wins season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix
Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen eased to victory in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix despite the turmoil surrounding his Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

F1 champion Max Verstappen wins season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix

  • Verstappen started on pole position and was never seriously challenged on his way to a commanding one-two win for Red Bull ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez.
  • Carlos Sainz Jr. was third for Ferrari after fighting hard with teammate Charles Leclerc.
  • It was the eighth win in a row for Verstappen going back to September last year. He set an F1 record of 10 consecutive wins last season.


APPOINTMENTS

ISMA appoints Deepak Ballani as the new Director General
The Indian Sugar and Bio-energy Manufacturers Association (ISMA) has appointed Deepak Ballani as its new Director General. 

ISMA appoints Deepak Ballani as the new Director General

 

  • Ballani, as per an official statement, has over 25 years of experience in public policy, government affairs, and organisational management. Prior to joining ISMA, Ballani served as the Director General at The All India Plastics Manufacturers Association.

Dhanaraj T assumes position of Executive Director at Indian Overseas Bank & Brajesh Kumar Singh is new Executive Director of Indian Bank
Banker Dhanaraj T has assumed office as the executive director of the Indian Overseas Bank (IOB). The appointment is for three years effective from March 10, 2024. Prior to this role, the 53-year-old served as the chief general manager at Indian Bank.

  • Public sector Indian Bank said the Central government has appointed Brajesh Kumar Singh as its Executive Director for a period of three years. Prior taking up the new responsibility, Singh was serving Bank of Baroda as its Chief General Manager – Human Resources.

Airtel Payments Bank appoints Anuj Bansal as CFO
Airtel Payments Bank announced the appointment of Anuj Bansal as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). He will be responsible for overall financial strategy, including corporate financial planning, budgeting, supply chain, and treasury management.

Airtel Payments Bank appoints Anuj Bansal as CFO

  • Bansal will be a part of the Bank’s Executive Committee and will be working with Anubrata Biswas, MD and CEO of Airtel Payments Bank.
  • Before joining Airtel Payments Bank, Bansal was with MasterCard India as Vice President – Financial Planning & Analysis, where he led the Business Finance Centre to support the global FP&A operations for the organisation. Prior to this, he has worked with Max New York Life Insurance (now Max Life), Aviva Life Insurance Co. India, Royal Enfield (Unit of Eicher Motors), and others.

IPS officer Sarah Sharma appointed DIG in CBI
Senior IPS officer Sarah Sharma was inducted as a Deputy Inspector General in the CBI, according to a Union personnel ministry order.

IPS officer Sarah Sharma appointed DIG in CBI

  • Sharma is a 2010-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the Odisha cadre.She has been inducted into the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as Deputy Inspector General (DIG) for five years. 
  • The tenure of P Murugan, DIG, has been extended till March 15, 2027, according to another personnel ministry order.
  • The deputation tenure of Vidyut Vikash, currently a Superintendent of Police in the agency, has been extended up to February 18, 2025.


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