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Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 17th February, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 17 February 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment in collaboration with Brahma Kumaris launches Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan Vehicle for Delhi-NCR
A vehicle dedicated to NMBA was flagged off by Secretary, Social Justice and Empowerment from DAIC, New Delhi to spread the awareness about the drug abuse.Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment in collaboration with Brahma Kumaris launches Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan Vehicle for Delhi-NCR

  •  Display and moving models attracts the crowd (whether it be youth, children in schools, public in outdoor locations like market places, train stations, etc.) and they do listen and see the NMBA awareness message.Also, the de-addiction exhibition is printed on all sides of the vehicle.
  • A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed to enlist the support of Brahma Kumaris in spreading the message of NMBA among various demographics, including youth, women, and students.
  • Since then, Brahma Kumaris had been actively involved in organizing programs and activities to raise awareness about NMBA as outlined in the MoU.

Rajasthan Mukhyamantri Vishwakarma Pension Yojana 2024
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot launched a special scheme for laborers and street vendors, named the Mukhyamantri Vishwakarma Pension Yojana.Rajasthan Mukhyamantri Vishwakarma Pension Yojana 2024

  • Under this scheme, eligible workers aged 60 or above will receive a monthly pension of Rs. 2,000. This pension aims to assist street vendors in meeting their daily needs without relying on others.
  • The primary objective of launching the Mukhyamantri Vishwakarma Pension Yojana is to ensure the welfare of laborers and street vendors in Rajasthan.
  • The Rajasthan government has allocated a budget of approximately Rs. 350 crores for the successful implementation of this scheme.

Parshottam Rupala launches the realigned AHIDF Scheme
Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Parshottam Rupala launched the realigned AHIDF Scheme and released the Radio Jingle on AHIDF at New Delhi.Parshottam Rupala launches the realigned AHIDF Scheme

  • He said that the scheme has been realigned and will be implemented for another 3 years. The industry, FPO, Dairy Cooperatives should take benefit of the scheme.
  • The Cabinet in its meeting  approved the realignment of the AHIDF under Infrastructure Development Fund with an outlay of ₹ 29610 crore. Now the Total Fund will be of ₹. 29610 cr. Instead of ₹. 15000cr.  The realigned scheme will be implemented for further period of three years from 31.03.2023 till 2025-26.

MeitY hosts first-ever Future Skills Summit in Guwahati
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), in collaboration with the National Institute of Electronics and IT (NIELIT), is set to host the Future Skills Summit in Guwahati. The event was inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar.MeitY hosts first-ever Future Skills Summit in Guwahati

  • The Summit aims to bring together young Indians, thought leaders, industry experts, policymakers, educators, and technology enthusiasts to discuss strategies for catalyzing future-ready talent for India and the world.
  • The Summit will focus on the impact of rapid digitization globally, emphasizing new opportunities for young Indians in cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Semiconductors, Robotics, and Cybersecurity. These advancements offer significant prospects for the country’s youth.

Supreme Court declares electoral bonds scheme unconstitutional
The Supreme Court struck down the electoral bonds scheme, which provides blanket anonymity to financial contributions to political parties, and amendments made to the law allowing rich corporations to make unlimited political donations “unconstitutional and manifestly arbitrary”.Supreme Court declares electoral bonds scheme unconstitutional

  • A five-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, in a unanimous judgment, held that the electoral bonds scheme and preceding amendments made to the Representation of People Act, Companies Act and the Income Tax Act violate the voters’ right to information about political funding under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.
  • The apex court ordered the State of Bank of India to stop issuance of electoral bonds herewith.
  • The bank was directed to submit details of bonds purchased from April 12, 2019, till date to the Election Commission of India (ECI). On April 12, 2019, the top court had ordered the ECI to submit, in a sealed cover, the records of bonds purchased till then.

AIIMS and University of Liverpool Collaborate for Cancer Research
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi signed a Collaboration Agreement with the UK’s University of Liverpool for “AIIMS Liverpool Collaborative Centre for Translational Research in Head and Neck Cancer – ALHNS”. The Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya headed over the signing of the collaboration agreement.AIIMS and University of Liverpool Collaborate for Cancer Research

  • The AIIMS Liverpool Collaborative Centre for Translational Research in Head and Neck Cancer is anticipated to build upon the pre-existing collaboration and links between the Liverpool Head and Neck Cancer (LNHC), the University of Liverpool, and the Head and Neck Cancer Unit at AIIMS New Delhi.
  • The collaboration strives to develop common standard operating procedures to access high-quality clinical datasets and tissue repositories of ethnically diverse populations, whose head and neck cancer causes differ immensely from cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking, and Human Papilloma Virus in the UK population, in difference to smokeless tobacco products in an Indian population.

Health Minister Launches AIIMS-SBI Smart Payment Card for Cashless Transactions at AIIMS, New Delhi
Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya launched AIIMS-SBI Smart payment card for hassle free payments in All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.Health Minister Launches AIIMS-SBI Smart Payment Card for Cashless

  • The card does away with cash payments at AIIMS Delhi for any patient services, including the canteen. A patient can deposit amount in this card, and recharge it at various points in different blocks at AIIMS, the health ministry said.
  • Referring to the Smart Payment Card as ‘One AIIMS, One Card’, the Union Minister added that funds can now be transferred easily and swiftly from across the country by anyone in case of any urgent payment-related requirement, for the patient being attended at the hospital.
  • The SBI-AIIMS Smart card is being provided free of cost to all patients and has no service charges. All patients upon admission will be issued the Smart Card. The card will be linked to the patient’s Unique Hospital Identification (UHID) number and the Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) ID issued under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM).

Sikkim INSPIRES, a world bank assisted programme launched in state
The Chief Minister of Sikkim, Prem Singh Tamang, recently launched Sikkim INSPIRES, a collaborative effort between the State Government and the World Bank. The main objective of this initiative is to promote economic growth and inclusion in the state.Sikkim INSPIRES, a world bank assisted programme launched in state

  • Sikkim INSPIRES programme marks the first direct partnership between the State government and the World Bank.
  • The programme would engage nine government departments over the next five years to create an ecosystem for economic prosperity. The emphasis would be on collaboration and capacity-building across various sectors.
  • At the launch event, the announcement of a slogan competition winner and the unveiling of a mobile app focused on mental health awareness were also made. $100 million allocated by WB for this project.

Sikkim Governor Leads Swachh Bharat Campaign at Raj Bhavan
Sikkim Governor Lakshman Prasad Acharya spearheaded Swachh Bharat Campaign at Raj Bhavan in Gangtok, launching a week-long event titled “Hamro Sankalp: Viksit Bharat Pushpit Sikkim.” 

  • Embracing Mahatma Gandhi’s principles, he stressed role of cleanliness in Nation development, inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
  • The initiative began with cleaning the Raj Bhavan’s premises, including the temple and statues of national figures. Governor Acharya emphasized cleanliness’s integral role in societal and nation development, stating it extends beyond beautification.

Manipur CM launches Honda’s ‘Project Buniyaad-Aathmanirbharta Ka Aadhar’
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh launched “Project Buniyaad-AathmanirbhartaKa Aadhar”, a skill development and employment scheme in the hospitality sector. It aims to provide 100 per cent job placement to the youth from the North-eastern states in the hospitality sector.Manipur CM launches Honda’s ‘Project Buniyaad-Aathmanirbharta Ka Aadhar’

  • The project is supported by the Honda India Foundation (HIF) in association with the Manipur State Rural Livelihood Mission and Visan Foundation, that aimed at providing employment to the unemployed youth from marginal sections of the society.
  • The project plans to establish four distinct foundations of collaboration with HIF being the funding partner, State Government being the Infrastructure and Mobilization Support Partner, Visan Foundation being the Training partner and all the leading hotels and hospitals being the Placement partner.

Arunachal achieves 100 per cent saturation in ‘Har Ghar Jal’ scheme: CM Khandu
Arunachal Pradesh has achieved 100 per cent saturation in ‘Har Ghar Jal’ scheme under the Centre’s Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), Chief Minister Pema Khandu has said.Arunachal achieves 100 per cent saturation in ‘Har Ghar Jal’ scheme: CM Khandu

  • The state has become the first in the Northeast and tenth in the country to achieve a cent per cent saturation under the central government sponsored scheme, an official of the state Public Health Engineering department said.
  • Khandu informed that the Centre’s share for the scheme in the state was Rs 3,965.41 crore, while the state contributed Rs 455.51 crore to complete the project, ensuring every household gets clean and safe piped water.

Tripura becomes first state in northeast to launch Chief Minister Jan Aarogya Yojana
Tripura became the first state in the northeast and 12th in entire country to launch the Chief Minister Jan Aarogya Yojana.Tripura becomes first state in northeast to launch Chief Minister Jan Aarogya Yojana

  • The Chief Minister Jan Aarogya Yojana which will benefit 4.15 lakh people of the state is on the lines of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana and provides a cover of ₹5 lakh per family annually.
  • A government said that more than 5.12 lakh people have already been included in the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana which was launched im September 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • 100 health sub-centres will be built for which a fund allocation of 30 crore has been earmarked in the state budget, the Chief Minister informed.
  • The CM also handed over the Chief Minister Jan Aarogya Yojana Card to the beneficiaries.


BANKING & FINANCE

India, Nepal sign pact to link UPI, NPI for faster remittances
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) signed and exchanged Terms of Reference (ToR) to integrate fast payment systems of India and Nepal through Unified Payments Interface (UPI) of India and National Payments Interface (NPI) of Nepal, respectively.India, Nepal sign pact to link UPI, NPI for faster remittances

  • The integration is aimed at facilitating cross-border remittances between India and Nepal by enabling users of the two systems to make instant, low-cost fund transfers.
  • As per the Terms of Reference exchanged between the two central banks, the necessary systems will be put in place for interlinking of UPI and NPI, whereas the formal launch of the linkage, i.e., the commencement of operations, will be done at a later date.

RBI cancels licence of Jai Prakash Narayan Nagari Sahakari Bank
The RBI has cancelled the licence of Jai Prakash Narayan Nagari Sahakari Bank Basmathnagar, Maharashtra, as the lender, with its present financial position, would be unable to pay its present depositors in full.RBI cancels licence of Jai Prakash Narayan Nagari Sahakari Bank

  • The Commissioner for Co-operation and Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Maharashtra, has been requested to issue an order for winding up the bank and appoint a liquidator, the RBI said.
  • On liquidation, every depositor would be entitled to receive a deposit insurance claim amount of his/her deposits up to a monetary ceiling of Rs 5 lakh from Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC).

Govt to receive Rs 1.02 lakh cr as dividend from RBI, PSBs in FY25
The government projected a dividend income of Rs 1.02 lakh crore from the RBI and public sector financial institutions in the next financial year. The government is set to earn a higher dividend of Rs 1.04 lakh crore in the current fiscal against the Budget Estimate of Rs 48,000 crore.

  • The current financial year estimate exceeded the Budget Estimate as RBI paid a dividend of Rs 87,416 crore in May last year.
  • In the previous financial year, the government mobilised Rs 39,961 crore from RBI and public sector financial institutions.
  • Meanwhile, the government estimated Rs 43,000 crore as dividend payments from Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs). Other investments also rose to Rs 50,000 crore during the current fiscal.

SBI issues Electoral Bonds worth Rs 16,518 cr in 30 tranches
State Bank of India (SBI) has issued Electoral Bonds worth Rs 16,518 crore in 30 tranches since the inception of the scheme in 2018, Parliament was informed.SBI issues Electoral Bonds worth Rs 16,518 cr in 30 tranches

  • The objective of the Electoral Bond Scheme is to ensure clean tax-paid money is coming into the system of political funding through proper banking channels, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said.
  • The total value of Electoral Bonds purchased (Phase-I to Phase-XXX) from State Bank of India is about Rs 16,518 crore. No GST or any other taxes/cess are charged from the purchaser on the purchase of Electoral Bonds.

SBI leads debit cards market, HDFC Bank dominates credit cards share in Dec’23
India’s largest public sector lender, the State Bank of India, remained the front runner in the Debit cards market, holding a 24 per cent share in December 2023, revealed latest data by 1Lattice.SBI leads debit cards market, HDFC Bank dominates credit cards share in Dec'23

  • Top banks followed the list like Bank of Baroda which held about 10 per cent market share, followed by Canara Bank, Union Bank and HDFC Bank with approximately 6 per cent market share each and Bank of India with a 5 per cent market share.
  • In the Debit cards segment, Axis Bank recorded the highest yoy growth, of approximately 20 per cent, while Union Bank and Bank of Baroda recorded 18 per cent and 17 per cent growth respectively.
  • Even though the State Bank of India retained its top position in the debit cards market, it registered a massive degrowth of about 17 per cent in December. Punjab National Bank also registered a degrowth of about 2 per cent, while ICICI Bank had no growth.
  • India’s largest private bank, HDFC Bank continued to lead the race in credit cards market with a 20 per cent share. SBI Cards, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank followed the list with 19 per cent, 17 per cent and 14 per cent market share respectively in December, 2023.

HDFC Bank launches 4 new business credit cards for SME players, freelancers
Private lender HDFC Bank has launched a new set of business range of credit cards aimed at entrepreneurs, freelancers, and professionals in the SME sector. The credit cards are available in four variants — BizFirst, BizGrow, BizPower, and BizBlack. Hdfc bank

  • All the cards will offer 55 days of interest-free credit, which is the highest number of days offered by any bank at present.
  • Besides, these SME-focused credit cards offer savings on essential business expenses, like utility bills, GST, income tax, vendor payments, business travel, and business productivity tools.

PayU, NPCI join hands to roll out Credit Lines on UPI’ feature
Payments solution provider, PayU announced collaboration with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for rolling out of the ‘Credit Lines on UPI’ feature on its platform, which will create avenues of financial security and growth for the merchants.

  • The enablement of pre-sanctioned Credit Lines by banks through UPI will empower businesses and consumers alike, fostering India’s financial inclusion agenda.
  • As part of integration, PayU will share information about the relevant identifiers related to the type of credit the consumer has undertaken, such as pay-later, personal loans, etc.
  • This information will enable the merchants to form strategic growth strategies and further create relevant, customised products for better customer experience.

RBI imposes Rs 8.8 lakh penalty on Power Finance Corporation for non-compliance
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed a penalty of Rs 8.8 lakh on Power Finance Corporation (PFC) Limited for failing to comply with certain provisions of the ‘Liquidity Risk Management Framework for Non-Banking Financial Companies and Core Investment Companies’.RBI imposes Rs 8.8 lakh penalty on Power Finance Corporation for non-compliance

  • The statutory inspection of the company was conducted by RBI with reference to its financial position as of March 31, 2022.
  • PFC had not maintained the prescribed Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) of 60 per cent as of March 31, 2022, as a result of the inclusion of ineligible assets as High-Quality Liquid Assets (HQLA) for the computation of the LCR, Reserve Bank said.

Max Financial gets IRDAI nod for capital infusion of Rs 1,612 cr by Axis Bank into Max Life Insurance
Max Financial Services announced that it has received approval from Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) for capital infusion of Rs 1,612 crore by Axis Bank into the company’s material subsidiary, Max Life Insurance.Max Financial gets IRDAI nod for capital infusion of Rs 1,612 cr by Axis Bank into Max Life Insurance

  • As part of the deal, Max Life will issue nearly 14,25,79,161 equity shares to Axis Bank for an aggregate investment of above mentioned amount.
  • The company, in an exchange filing has said that the capital infusion “will help Max Life to support its future growth ambitions, to augment its capital position and to improve solvency margins”.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

CIAL And BPCL To Set Up First Green Hydrogen Plant At Cochin Airport
In a strategic move to bolster its pathbreaking green energy initiatives, Cochin International Airport Ltd. (CIAL) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) for setting up a green hydrogen plant on the premises of Cochin Airport.CIAL And BPCL To Set Up First Green Hydrogen Plant At Cochin Airport

  • This collaborative effort will result in the world’s first green hydrogen plant and fueling station located within an airport setting, CIAL said in a statement.
  • The agreement exchange ceremony for the green hydrogen plant was held at the Legislative Complex in Thiruvananthapuram in the presence of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is also the chairman of CIAL, the statement said.
  • Green hydrogen, produced from water using renewable energy sources, is recognised as a future fuel and aligns with zero-carbon energy strategies.

NCLT approves Indian Sugar Manufacturing’s acquisition by Sri Dutt Biofuels Pvt Ltd
The consortium of Shri Dutt India and Shri Dutt Biofuels has received approval from the bankruptcy court for the acquisition of the Indian Sugar Manufacturing Company.NCLT approves Indian Sugar Manufacturing’s acquisition by Sri Dutt Biofuels Pvt Ltd

  • The company’s total admitted liabilities were about Rs 523 crore and the successful bidder is paying Rs 175 crore to acquire the company.
  • Before the tribunal’s approval, the resolution plan was approved by the company’s lenders with 100% of voting share in favour of the consortium.


SPORTS

Indian hammer thrower Rachna Kumari banned for 12 years for doping
Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) and the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) have imposed significant suspensions on two athletes for anti-doping rule violations. These decisions highlight the unwavering commitment of sporting authorities to maintain fairness, integrity, and a level playing field in athletics.Indian hammer thrower Rachna Kumari banned for 12 years for doping

  • Hammer thrower Rachna Kumari faces a 12-year suspension for her second anti-doping rule violation, marking a severe penalty that reflects the seriousness with which doping offenses are treated.
  • Quarter-miler Nirmala Sheoran, another athlete with a history of doping violations, has been handed an eight-year suspension by NADA for her second offence.

Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur hands over Chess Olympiad Torch to Budapest
Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh Thakur handed over the Chess Olympiad Torch to Budapest, Hungary, the host city for the 45th edition of the Chess Olympiad. The transfer of the torch took place at the Major Dhyanchand National Stadium in New Delhi.Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur hands over Chess Olympiad Torch to Budapest

  • The 44th edition of the Chess Olympiad held in Chennai in 2022 witnessed the participation of over 2500 players and 7000 participants globally. The upcoming edition, set to take place in Budapest, was officially announced earlier this year.
  • The inauguration of the 1st Chess Olympiad Torch Relay commenced with a ceremony led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Stadium on June 19, 2022.


APPOINTMENTS

Visa Names Shruti Gupta as VP of Commercial Solutions for India and South Asia
Digital payments company Visa named Shruti Gupta as vice-president and head of commercial and money movement solutions (CMS) for India and South Asia.Visa Names Shruti Gupta as VP of Commercial Solutions for India and South Asia

  • Gupta will head Visa’s business and corporate solutions including commercial solutions, integrated money movement and visa government solutions.
  • With an extensive background in banking and finance, particularly in commercial solutions and strategy, Gupta brings valuable expertise to Visa’s team.


AWARDS

Vice-President Dhankhar conferred Assam’s Highest Civilian Awards in Guwahati
Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar visited Guwahati on a day long tour to present the Assam government’s highest civilian awards ‘Assam Baibhav’,Assam Saurabh’, and ‘Assam Gaurav’ to the winners.Vice-President Dhankhar conferred Assam's Highest Civilian Awards in Guwahati

  • Assam government presented the Assam Baibhav, the state’s premier civilian honor, to Ranjan Gogoi, Member of Parliament and former Chief Justice of India.
  • The Assam Saurav was awarded to four individuals including Dr. Kishan Chand Nauriyal, Elvis Ali Hazarika, Hima Das, and Nadiram Deuri, while Assam Gaurav was awarded to 17 people including Ranjit Kumar Gogoi, Parvati Barua, Debojit Changmai, Drono Bhuyan, Neelan Dutta, Anupama Deka, Soumyadeep Dutta, Basanta Chiring Phukan, Manendra Deka, Meenakshi Chetia, Pakhila Lethtepi, Tenzing Bodosa, Nirmal Dey, Jecin Kumbang Pao, Mary Hassa, Upendra Rabha and Rahul Gupta.


 

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