Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 20th March, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 20 March 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

India’s first Ayurvedic Café now open in Delhi
Maharishi Ayurveda Hospital in Shalimar Bagh, Delhi treats its patients with the utmost care by providing them with panchakarma therapy, a meditation room, yoga training, deluxe room facilities and in-house doctors. 

India's first Ayurvedic Café now open in Delhi

  • At Soma-The Ayurvedic Kitchen, the food is customized according to the visitor’s health. The menu features dishes like Dumplings and Pav Bhaji, all prepared without onion and garlic. The hospital patients frequently visit this café during their treatment, alongside outside visitors. This restaurant is being hailed as the first Ayurvedic Kitchen in India.
  • Dr. Himanshu, a doctor at the Maharishi Ayurveda Hospital, claims that almost all the dishes are homemade and fresh. He adds that they founded Soma restaurant to promote the fusion of Ayurveda and food.

India will host ITU’s prestigious World Telecom Standardization Assembly Delhi 2024 (WTSA 2024) from 15th – 24th Oct 2024
Billed by the government as India’s premier technology event, India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2024 is to be held on 15 October, alongside two key global telecom meetings in Delhi, Telecom Minister Ashwani Vaishnaw said. 

India will host ITU’s prestigious World Telecom Standardization Assembly Delhi 2024 (WTSA 2024) from 15th - 24th Oct 2024

  • India will be hosting the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA 2024) from 15-24 October 2024, preceded by the Global Standards Symposium (GSS 2024) on 14 October 2024, Vaishnaw said.
  • The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialised United Nations agency for information and communication technologies of which India is a part, conducts the WTSA every four years to plan its standardization programme.
  • Held by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), IMC, in its eighth edition, should see more than 1,000 exhibitors, the Minister told industry officials.
  • Vaishnaw also released new guidelines for Spectrum Regulatory Sandbox and Wireless Test Zones. Introduced by the DoT, the guidelines will enable the development of technology for using and improving the efficiency of greenfield spectrum bands.

Indian Army raises Apache squadron at Jodhpur ahead of helicopter deliveries
In a major capability boost, the Indian Army raised its first Apache attack helicopter squadron in the desert sector in Jodhpur near the Pakistan front.

Indian Army raises Apache squadron at Jodhpur ahead of helicopter deliveries

  • The squadron was raised in Jodhpur in the presence of Director General Indian Army Aviation Lt Gen Ajay Suri and officials from the original manufacturer Boeing along with other senior officials. 
  • The Indian Army Apache helicopters would camouflage desert colours and the first batch of choppers would arrive and join the fleet by May this year. 
  • Also known as the ‘tanks in the air’, these advanced attack helicopters will land at the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Hindon Air Force Station and then will be deployed in Jodhpur in May, near the India-Pakistan border. 

Trinetra app 2.0 to revolutionize policing in UP
The Uttars Pradesh police have adopted the Trinetra app 2.0, a state-of-the-art digital platform, to revolutionize crime prevention and investigation. 

Trinetra app 2.0 to revolutionize policing in UP

  • With 9.32 lakh criminal records digitized, officers can swiftly identify suspects during security checks. Launched by UP DGP Prashant Kumar and ADG Amitabh Yash, the app offers seamless accessibility for Inspector-ranked personnel and above.
  • It includes features like facial and audio recognition for suspect identification and QR code generation for seized goods, aiding investigations and missing person’s cases.

Election Commission launches ‘Mission 414’ campaign in Himachal Pradesh to boost voter turnout
The Election Commission (EC) of India has launched a special campaign in Himachal Pradesh to maximise voter turnout in 414 polling stations which registered less than 60% voting in the last Lok Sabha polls.

Election Commission launches ‘Mission 414’ campaign in Himachal Pradesh to boost voter turnout

  • Bypolls to six assembly seats that fell vacant after disqualification of Congress MLAs would be held simultaneously with four Lok Sabha seats in Himachal Pradesh in the last phase on June 1.
  •     The main focus of the campaign — “Mission 414” — is increasing the vote percentage in 414 identified polling stations which registered less than 60 percent voting in the last Lok Sabha polls. 


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

India ranks 126 In the ‘World Happiness Report’, Finland tops
The Nordic countries have secured the top spots in the World Happiness Report published by Canadian economist John F. Helliwell, Richard Layard, Jeffrey Sachs, Jan Emmanuel De Neve, Lara B. Aknin, & Shun Wang. In the report, published, India ranked 126, the same as last year.

India ranks 126 In the 'World Happiness Report', Finland tops

  • In the annual UN-sponsored report, Nordic countries kept their places among the 10 most cheerful, with Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden and Israel securing the top 5 spots. Afghanistan, plagued by a humanitarian catastrophe since the Taliban gained control over it in 2020, stayed at the bottom of the 143 countries surveyed.
  • Meanwhile, for the first time, since the report was published more than a decade ago, the United States and Germany did not find a place among the list of 20 happiest nations. The US trailed at the 23rd spot, while Germany at the 24th spot respectively.
  • Countries such as Costa Rica and Kuwait entered the top 20 list with Costa Rica securing the 12th and Kuwait, the 13th spots respectively.

Pokhara declared as Nepal’s New Tourism Capital
In a significant move for Nepal’s tourism sector, the government officially declared Pokhara the country’s tourism capital during a ceremony held at the Barahi Ghat. 

Pokhara declared as Nepal's New Tourism Capital

  • Nepal has announced that it will seek China’s assistance in the development of the Pokhara International Airport. The airport was built by China and was declared ready for commercial operation in January 2022. 
  • The government’s announcement coincides with Nepal’s final preparations to secure Chinese aid to build the Nepal-China Industrial Friendship Park. The park is expected to be built on nearly 4,000 acres of land and could extend to 6,600 acres in east Nepal’s Jhapa along the north Bengal border. 

Bihar’s Begusarai, ‘world’s most polluted city in 2023’
Bihar’s Begusarai topped the list as the “most polluted metropolitan area in 2023”, while Delhi has been identified as the capital city with the “poorest air quality” among global nations, as per the findings of the World Air Quality Report 2023 by the Swiss organization IQAir.

Bihar's Begusarai, 'world's most polluted city in 2023'

  • India ranked third worst out of 134 countries in terms of average annual PM2.5 concentration, trailing behind Bangladesh and Pakistan, as highlighted in this 6th Annual World Air Quality Report, which unveils concerning insights into the world’s most polluted countries, territories, and regions.
  • Ninty-six per cent of India’s population reside in areas where air quality exceeds WHO guidelines by seven times, according to the report.
  • The report said that Africa continues to be the most underrepresented continent, with a third of its population lacking access to air quality data.
  • For the first time in the report’s history, Canada was identified as the most polluted country in Northern America, with its borders containing the 13 most polluted cities in the region.
  • Seven countries achieved compliance with the WHO annual PM2.5 guideline, which stipulates a yearly average of 5 µg/m3 or less: Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland, Mauritius, and New Zealand.


BANKING & FINANCE

RBI’s gold purchase highest in almost two years
In January, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made its most significant gold purchase since July 2022, acquiring 8.7 tonnes of the precious metal. 

RBI's gold purchase highest in almost two years

  • According to data from the World Gold Council, the RBI’s gold reserves rose to 812.3 tonnes in January from 803.58 tonnes in December 2023. Experts suggest that the central bank’s move to increase its gold holdings is part of its strategy to diversify forex reserves and mitigate risks associated with foreign currencies.
  • Notably, other countries like Turkey, China and Kazakhstan also made substantial gold purchases in January. Turkey acquired 11.8 tonnes, China bought 10 tonnes and Kazakhstan purchased 6.2 tonnes of gold.
  • In a move to facilitate gold imports, the government issued a notification allowing the RBI to import gold without paying levies. Typically, gold imports attract a 15 per cent duty, including a 5 per cent agriculture infrastructure development cess.

Future Generali India launches new women’s health insurance plan
Future Generali India Insurance Company (FGII), a private general insurer, announced the launch of its most comprehensive women’s health insurance plan. The plan is designed to meet women’s unique needs.

Future Generali India launches new women’s health insurance plan

  • FGII “HEALTH POWHER” aims to address the various needs of women across the different stages of their lives. 
  • Some of the critical differentiators of HEALTH POWHER include Enhanced Limits for Female Cancer treatments, Coverage for Puberty and Menopause-related disorders, OPD focuses  on physical & mental well-being with the reinstatement of mental illness benefits to 200 per cent, Coverage for infertility treatment and Oocyte cryopreservation, Stem Cell Storage, a comprehensive wellness program, Lumpsum benefit for Newborn defect, Nursing care, Senior Care covering bone strengthening injections, joint injections etc.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Reliance Consumer partners with Elephant House to bring Sri Lankan beverage brand to India
Reliance Consumer Products Limited (RCPL), the FMCG arm and wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL), has partnered with Sri Lanka-headquartered Elephant House to manufacture, market, distribute and sell beverages under the Elephant House brand across India.

Reliance Consumer partners with Elephant House to bring Sri Lankan beverage brand to India

  • This association will not only help RCPL bolster its growing beverage portfolio that boasts iconic brands such as Campa, Sosyo, and Raskik but will also bring exceptional new products and value propositions to Indian consumers. 
  • Under the Elephant House brand, it manufactures and sells a wide range of beverages including Necto, Cream Soda, EGB (Ginger Beer), Orange Barley and Lemonade to name a few. 

India’s outward FDI rises to $3.47 billion in February, shows RBI data
India’s outward foreign direct investment (FDI) commitments rose substantially to $3.47 billion in February 2024, compared to over $2.82 billion in February 2023. Sequentially, FDI commitments were also up from $2.18 billion in January 2024, according to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data.

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

  • Outbound FDI, expressed as a financial commitment, comprises three components: equity, loans, and guarantees. The equity commitments declined to $502.14 million in February 2024 from $776.79 million a year ago. It was also lower than the $764.29 million recorded in January 2024.

India’s direct tax collection grows 20% to Rs 18.90 lakh crore till March 17
India’s direct tax collections for the Financial Year (FY) 2023-24 have witnessed a significant upswing, with net collection reaching Rs 18.90 lakh crore till March 17, marking a 19.88 percent increase compared to the previous fiscal year.

India's direct tax collection grows 20% to Rs 18.90 lakh crore till March 17

  • The net direct tax collection of Rs 18,90,259 crore(as of March 17) includes Corporation Tax (CIT) at Rs 9,14,469 crore (net of refund) and Personal Income Tax (PIT), including Securities Transaction Tax (STT) at Rs 9,72,224 crore (net of refund).
  • Refunds amounting to about Rs 3.37 trillion have also been issued in the current fiscal till March 17.
  • On a gross basis, before adjusting refunds, the direct tax collection stood at Rs 22.27 trillion, an 18.74 per cent growth over the year-ago period.

Meta unveils ‘comprehensive’ plan for tackling misinformation during upcoming Lok Sabha elections
Meta, the owner of popular social media companies like Instagram, Threads and Facebook, has unveiled a ‘comprehensive approach’ to limit misinformation, eliminate voter interference and increase transparency and accountability on its platform during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. 

Meta unveils ‘comprehensive’ plan for tackling misinformation during upcoming Lok Sabha elections

  • Meta said that it will enable an India-specific Elections Operations Centre to identify potential threats and implement appropriate measures in real time across the company’s various applications. 
  • Meta also said that its India-specific operations centre will bring together experts from various areas across the company, such as data science, engineering, research, operations, content policy and legal teams.


SPORTS

Alcaraz tops Medvedev to repeat as Indian Wells champion
Alcaraz captured his first title since Wimbledon last July and became the first repeat winner at Indian Wells since Novak Djokovic won three straight titles from 2014-16.

Alcaraz tops Medvedev to repeat as Indian Wells champion

  • For the 20-year-old Spaniard, 12 days in the California desert proved just what he needed after a stuttering start to the season, which included a quarter-final exit at the Australian Open and an ankle injury that forced him out of his opening match at Rio de Janeiro in February.
  • Trailing 5-2 in the tie-breaker, Australian Open runner-up Medvedev battled back to 5-5, but Alcaraz claimed the set when the Russian sent a forehand wide and from there he was in complete control.


APPOINTMENTS

P&G India appoints Kumar Venkatasubramanian as CEO with effect from May 1
Procter & Gamble India has announced the appointment of Kumar Venkatasubramanian as the Chief Executive Officer, effective from May 1, 2024. 

P&G India appoints Kumar Venkatasubramanian as CEO with effect from May 1

  • Kumar will assume responsibilities from LV Vaidyanathan, who is stepping down from the position after 28 years of service to the company.
  • Kumar is currently leading the P&G business in Australia and New Zealand as CEO. Before the Australia role, Kumar was leading sales team in P&G India until 2020, it added.

Union AMC appoints Madhu Nair as CEO
Union Asset Management Company has appointed Madhu Nair as the Chief Executive Officer. He will replace G Pradeepkumar who tendered his resignation after 14 years of service.

Union AMC appoints Madhu Nair as CEO

  • A Harvard Business School alumnus, Nair comes with over 25 years of diverse experience across various market segments. He was instrumental in building up asset management companies such as HSBC, Invesco and Kotak, during his career span of two and a half decades.

Anita Sudhir Pai and Neeta Mukerji join Fino Payments Bank as Independent Directors
Fino Payments Bank has appointed financial industry veterans Anita Sudhir Pai and Neeta Mukerji as Additional Directors in the capacity of Independent Directors on its board.

Anita Sudhir Pai and Neeta Mukerji join Fino Payments Bank as Independent Directors

  • With the new additions, the bank’s board has three women directors. Deena Mehta is already an Independent Director on the board.
  • Pai has more than three decades of experience in the BFSI space, having worked at HDFC Bank, Standard Chartered, ICICI Bank, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company and Yes Bank in various capacities.
  • Mukerji too has more than three decade experience in premier financial institutions such as ICICI Bank, Asset Reconstruction Company of India Limited (ARCIL), GE Capital, RBL Bank and Assets Care & Reconstruction Enterprise (ACRE).

Vinay Kumar appointed as next Ambassador of India to Russia
Vinay Kumar, an Indian Foreign Service officer of the 1992 batch, has been named as the next Ambassador of India to Russia.

Vinay Kumar appointed as next Ambassador of India to Russia

  • Kumar currently holds the position of Ambassador of India to Myanmar. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement that he is expected to take up the new assignment shortly.

Jharkhand guv Radhakrishnan gets addl charge of Telangana
Jharkhand governor CP Radhakrishnan has been given the additional charge of Telangana, marking the third instance of a Tamil Nadu native holding the gubernatorial post in the state.

Jharkhand guv Radhakrishnan gets addl charge of Telangana

  • Radhakrishnan was given the additional charge as Telangana Governor following the resignation of Tamilisai Soundararajan from the position.


AWARDS

Saraswati Samman for Malayalam poet Prabha Varma
The K K Birla Foundation has selected noted poet and litterateur Prabha Varma for the 33rd  Saraswati Samman for 2023 for his novel Roudra Sathwikam. 

Saraswati Samman for Malayalam poet Prabha Varma

  • The Saraswati Samman awardee was chosen by a selection committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri.
  • According to the Birla Foundation, the novel  “ Roudra Sathwikam, written in poetic verse in the Malayalam language, probes the conflict between power and politics, individual and state and art and power in a unique way.” 
  • Prabha Verma was born in Thiruvalla, Kerala, in 1959. He writes in both English and Malayalam. He has published over 30 books, including a dozen collections of poems, three novels in verse, eight books on the contemporary socio-political milieu and literature and seven collections of essays in criticism. He has also received the State and Filmfare award for best film lyrics. Prabha Varma is the media advisor to the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Punes Command Hospital wins Raksha Mantri Trophy for Armed Forces Medical Services
Command Hospital at Pune falling under the Army’s Southern Command has won the top award in the ‘Raksha Mantri Trophy for Armed Forces Medical Services’ 2022. 

Punes Command Hospital wins Raksha Mantri Trophy for Armed Forces Medical Services

  • The trophy was instituted in 1989 to recognise excellence in healthcare services provided by the armed forces hospitals under the AFMS and to foster a spirit of healthy competition among them, the Defence Ministry said. 
  • Command Hospital (Southern Command), Pune, and Command Hospital (Central Command), Lucknow, have been adjudged as the Best Command Hospital and Second-Best Command Hospital. 

T M Krishna gets Sangita Kalanidhi award
Renowned carnatic musician, T M Krishna, has been chosen as the Sangita Kalanidhi awardee for 2024. The award, considered the Oscar equivalent for carnatic music, is given away by the Music Academy in Chennai. 

T M Krishna gets Sangita Kalanidhi award

  • Krishna was given this honor for doing many remarkable works in the field of music. Krishna is an author who has written analytical books on music. Krishna has received numerous awards for his music, his writing and his advocacy of social issues. He has written a book on MS Subbulakshmi titled ‘Sebastian and Sons: A Brief History of Mridangam Makers’.
  • TM Krishna, famous Carnatic singer and also a Magsaysay Award winner. He has been a top-ranked and extremely talented musician for a long time. Krishna really deserves an award for his music. 


ENVIRONMENT

2023 marked warmest year on record, confirms WMO report
The year 2023 smashed multiple climate records with greenhouse gas levels, surface temperatures, ocean heat and acidification, sea level rise, Antarctic sea ice cover and glacier retreat reaching new highs, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) State of the Global Climate 2023 report.

2023 marked warmest year on record, confirms WMO report

  • The WMO confirmed that the global mean near-surface temperature in 2023 was 1.45 ± 0.12°C above the 1850-1900 average.
  • This makes it the warmest year in the 174-year observational record, surpassing the previous record holders — 2016 at 1.29 ± 0.12 °C and 2020 at 1.27±0.13 °C — by a clear margin. The past nine years, 2015-2023, were the nine warmest years on record.
  • This rapid rise in temperature from 2022 to 2023 can be partly explained by the shift from La Nina to El Nino conditions in the middle of 2023.

Scientists discover a ‘gigantic’ volcano on Mars with a surprising secret
Scientists have discovered a giant volcano on Mars that has been “hidden in plain sight” for more than 50 years. 

Scientists discover a 'gigantic' volcano on Mars with a surprising secret

  • The volcano is around 280 miles (450 kilometers) wide and more than 29,600 feet (9,000 meters) high. It is located in the eastern part of Mars’ Tharsis volcanic province near the planet’s equator, scientists revealed at the 55th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, held in Texas. 
  • The team also spotted what appears to be the remains of a sheet of buried glacier ice near the base of the volcano. They believe this could make the volcano a “prime location” for astrobiological research and the search for signs of alien life. 


Click here to download 20th March 2024 Current Affairs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

0