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Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 22nd February, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 22 February 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

PM Modi inaugurates 3 IIMs, IITs, 20 KVs and 13 Navodaya Vidyalayas worth ₹13,375 crore
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated multiple educational projects worth ₹13,375 crore. This includes three new IIMs, permanent campuses for IITs, 20 new buildings for Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and 13 new buildings for Navodaya Vidyalayas (NVs), across the country.PM Modi inaugurates 3 IIMs, IITs, 20 KVs and 13 Navodaya Vidyalayas worth ₹13,375 crore

  • The prime minister dedicated, inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of the campuses and buildings at a public function at the Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu.
  • The projects include permanent campuses of IIT-Bhilai, IIT-Tirupati, IIT-Jammu, the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing in Kancheepuram, the Indian Institute of Skills in Kanpur and two campuses of the Central Sanskrit University at Devprayag in Uttarakhand and at Agartala in Tripura. Mr. Modi will also inaugurate the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Vijaypur (Samba) in Jammu.
  • Mr. Modi will also inaugurate three new IIMs in Jammu, Bodh Gaya and Visakhapatnam along with 20 new buildings for Kendriya Vidyalayas and 13 new Navodaya Vidyalayas at various centres. He will lay the foundation stone of five Kendriya Vidyalaya campuses, one Navodaya Vidyalaya campus and five multipurpose halls for Navodaya Vidyalayas across the country.

Chandigarh’s Sukhna Lake gets north India’s first ‘Pizza ATM’
CITCO (Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation) introduces a pizza maker near Sukhna Lake, producing hot pizzas in three minutes, a first in North India. The pizza vending machine is the only one operational in India, marking a significant breakthrough.Chandigarh's Sukhna Lake gets north India's first 'Pizza ATM'

  • The machine is crafted at their Mohali factory, outperforming similar ventures, dispensing 100 pizzas daily. The prices of ATM pizzas are about 35 per cent less than that of Domino’s and Pizza Hut. Like a medium paneer tikka pizza is just about Rs 340 while the same in Domino’s is Rs 560

In a first, Centre taps private sector to invest Rs 2.16 lakh crore in nuclear energy
The Centre will invite private companies to invest about $26 billion (₹2.16 lakh crore) in nuclear energy to increase the amount of electricity from sources that don’t produce carbon dioxide emissions.In a first, Centre taps private sector to invest Rs 2.16 lakh crore in nuclear energy

  • This is the first time the government is pursuing private investment in nuclear power, a non-carbon-emitting energy source that contributes less than 2% of India’s total electricity generation. The funding would help India to achieve its target of having 50% of its installed electric generation capacity use non-fossil fuels by 2030, up from 42% now.
  • The government is in talks with at least five players – including Reliance Industries, Tata Power, Adani Power and Vedanta Ltd – to invest around ₹44,000 crore ($5.30 billion) each.

Arunachal Pradesh partners with NTCA to Save Tigers
The Arunachal Pradesh government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to establish the state’s first Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF). This move aims to bolster conservation efforts and protect the tiger population within the state.Arunachal Pradesh partners with NTCA to Save Tigers

  • With the signing of the MoU, a specialized force comprising 336 personnel will now be deployed across these reserves.
  • Under the terms of the MoU, the NTCA has committed to providing financial assistance for the establishment, equipping, and deployment of the STPF. This funding will be split with 90% provided by the central government and 10% by the state government. Each tiger reserve will host 112 personnel, ensuring comprehensive coverage and protection.

Goa collaborates with World Bank for Pioneering Climate Finance Facility
The Government of Goa announced that it will be setting up a Blended Finance facility in partnership with the World Bank. This will be a first-of-its-kind, climate-focused, multi-sectoral facility at a subnational level.Goa collaborates with World Bank for Pioneering Climate Finance Facility

  • This will enable Goa to access and mobilize concessional finance to implement low-carbon and climate-resilient investments. Blended finance- inclusive of public, private, international, and domestic climate finance- has the potential to help Goa and other coastal states in India build greater resilience to the impacts of a rapidly warming climate.
  • The Blended Finance facility was announced at the 2024 edition of the World Bank’s India Climate and Development Partners’ Meet. The facility will assist projects with existing funding and channelize financing to projects/sectors with no existing funding.

Maharashtra govt approves bill to extend 10% reservation to Marathas
The Maharashtra government approved a bill, extending reservation to Marathas above the 50 per cent mark in a special session of the state legislature.Maharashtra govt approves bill to extend 10% reservation to Marathas

  • The bill for 10 per cent Maratha quota that the Mahayuti government of Eknath Shinde has approved is similar to the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018, introduced by the then Devendra Fadnavis government.
  • This is the third time in a decade that the state has introduced legislation for the Maratha quota.The reservation has been extended based on a report submitted to the state government by the Maharashtra Backward Class Commission (MBCC) headed by chairman Justice (Retired) Sunil Shukre.

Uttarakhand CM launches ‘Himalayan Basket’ in Champawat
The ‘Himalayan Basket’ initiative, inaugurated by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, transforms Champawat into an ideal district by boosting local employment and creating economic growth.Uttarakhand CM launches 'Himalayan Basket' in Champawat

  • This innovative project, initially begun by local entrepreneurs Sumit and Sneha Thapliyal in 2018, aims to boost local employment by leveraging the district’s rich agricultural resources.
  • The initiative focuses on purchasing milk, turmeric, and mint from local farmers to produce high-demand products like ‘churpi’ and ghee, providing a sustainable ecosystem for the community.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Modi lays foundation stone of 100,000sqm Bharat Mart in Dubai to boost exports
The foundation stone of Bharat Mart, which will combine retail, warehousing and logistics facilities at Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone in Dubai, was laid during a virtual ceremony by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) vice president, Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.Modi lays foundation stone of 100,000sqm Bharat Mart in Dubai to boost exports

  • Bharat Mart is a joint initiative of DP World, a Dubai-based multinational that specialises in logistics, port terminal operations and maritime services, and India’s commerce ministry that is aimed at boosting exports by Indian small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • The facility, which has been compared to China’s Dragon Mart, will be built by DP World and is expected to be operational by 2025. The facility, set to cover more than 100,000 sq metres, will help cut the cost and time for shipping goods from India to Africa and Europe.

Multinational Exercise ‘Shanti Prayas IV’ begins 
The Nepali Army and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command are co-hosting Exercise Shanti Prayas IV at the Birendra Peace Operations Training Centre (BPOTC) in Panchkhal, Nepal from February 20 – March 4, 2024.Multinational Exercise 'Shanti Prayas IV' begins 

  • Shanti Prayas is a multinational peacekeeping exercise sponsored by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the Nepali Army, hosted rotationally between the two countries.
  • This year’s iteration consists of a UN peacekeeping operations staff training event, a field training event, and a critical enabler capability enhancement event at the BPOTC, all of which will focus on UN and international peacekeeping and stability operations.

Malta becomes 119th member of International Solar Alliance
International Solar Alliance(ISA) recently announced Malta as the 119th country to join the grouping.Malta becomes 119th member of International Solar Alliance

  • Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs Ministry, Malta, Christopher Cutajar signed the ISA Framework Agreement in the presence of Head of Depository and Joint Secretary (Economic Diplomacy), Abhishek Singh in New Delhi.

Japan hosts Ukraine reconstruction conference to showcase its support for the war-torn country
Japan will host a reconstruction conference for Ukraine just ahead of the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion as Tokyo seeks to showcase its commitment to supporting the war-torn country.Japan hosts Ukraine reconstruction conference to showcase its support for the war-torn country

  • The Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Growth and Reconstruction is co-organised by the Japanese and Ukrainian governments, Japan’s powerful business organisation Keidanren, and Japan External Trade Organization, or JETRO.
  • The two sides will issue a joint communique and dozens of memorandums of cooperation on the reconstruction are expected to be signed. Japan is considering easing travel restrictions for Japanese business trips to Ukraine.

India and Greece aim to double bilateral trade by 2030
India and Greece aim to double their bilateral trade to nearly $4 billion by 2030 and enhance connectivity through infrastructure projects like the proposed India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (Imec).India and Greece aim to double bilateral trade by 2030

  • The two countries identified pharmaceuticals, ports, chemicals, shipping, food, communications and defence as key sectors to help double their bilateral trade, which stood at $1.9 billion in 2022-23.
  • The partnership in shipping is particularly noteworthy, with India eyeing investment opportunities in Greek ports and seeking Athens’ support to modernize its shipping industry.


BANKING & FINANCE

Fintech startup Paymart to offer ‘virtual ATM’, partners 5 Indian banks
Fintech startup Paymart said that it has partnered with five Indian banks to offer its innovative virtual, cardless, and hardware-less cash withdrawal service.Fintech startup Paymart to offer 'virtual ATM', partners 5 Indian banks

  • Paymart has partnered with five prominent banks, including IDBI Bank, Indian Bank, Jammu & Kashmir Bank, and Karur Vyasa Bank, to roll out this service nationwide.
  • The startup plans to launch pilot programmes with its partner banks in February/March, with a phased nationwide rollout slated for April/May 2024.It successfully piloted the virtual ATM service with IDBI Bank for over six months.
  • Paymart also said that it entered into a partnership with CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd to further expand the reach of its virtual ATM service.

Japan commits Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan
Japan has committed a 232.21-billion-yen (about $1.55 billion) Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan for nine projects across various sectors in India such as road connectivity, climate change response, and horticulture, India’s finance ministry said.Japan commits Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan

  • The loan will fund infrastructure projects in North East India, including the Dhubri-Phulbari bridge (34.54 billion yen) and the Phulbari-Goeragre section of NH 127B (15.56 billion yen), apart from the construction of the Chennai Peripheral Ring Road (49.85 billion yen) and the Dedicated Freight Corridor Project (40 billion yen), ministry added.
  • The loan will also fund projects to promote startups and innovation in Telangana (23.7 billion yen), sustainable horticulture in Haryana (16.21 billion yen), and climate change response and ecosystem services enhancement in Rajasthan (26.13 billion yen). Some of it will be used to establish a medical college hospital at Nagaland Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Kohima (10 billion yen), and improve urban water supply in Uttarakhand (16.21 billion yen).

RBI grants payment aggregator licence to Mswipe Technologies
Mswipe Technologies, a prominent player in India’s digital payments sector, has been awarded a Payment Aggregator (PA) license by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). This significant development follows the company’s receipt of an in-principle approval earlier in 2022.RBI grants payment aggregator licence to Mswipe Technologies

  • Mswipe aims to leverage this license to bolster its range of offerings, providing comprehensive payment technology solutions across various channels.
  • The payment aggregator license underscores Mswipe’s commitment to enriching its suite of services.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Japan to invest Rs 12,800 crore for 9 projects in various sectors in India
The finance ministry said that the Japanese government has committed a loan of 232.209 billion yen (about Rs 12,800 crore) for nine projects related to various sectors in India.Japan to invest Rs 12,800 crore for 9 projects in various sectors in India

  • The projects included North East Road Network Connectivity, Project for Promoting Start-up and Innovation in Telangana, Project for the Construction of Chennai Peripheral Ring Road, Project for Promoting Sustainable Horticulture in Haryana and Project for Climate Change Response and ecosystem Services Enhancement in Rajasthan.
  • The agreement to this effect was signed between Vikas Sheel, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, and Suzuki Hiroshi, Ambassador of Japan to India.

Tech Mahindra acquires 100% stake in Orchid Cybertech for $3.27 million
IT services and consulting firm Tech Mahindra, announced that it has completed the acquisition of a 100% stake in Orchid Cybertech Services (OCSI) through its wholly-owned subsidiary for a total of $3.27 million.Tech Mahindra acquires 100% stake in Orchid Cybertech for $3.27 million

  • The acquisition of Orchid Cybertech Services (OCSI) is expected to bolster this relationship, facilitating seamless transitions and incremental revenue opportunities.
  • Under this agreement, OCSI, along with its assets and personnel, will integrate into Tech Mahindra, extending customer support and related services to TPG.

PhonePe launches made-in-India Indus Appstore to take on Google, Apple
Walmart-owned payments company PhonePe formally launched its mobile app marketplace, Indus Appstore, in an attempt to rival the Google Play store and Apple’s App Store.PhonePe launches made-in-India Indus Appstore to take on Google, Apple

  • The store, which promises a level playing field for Indian app developers, will allow them to choose any third-party payment gateway for in-app billing, and they will not be charged any commission if they use an external payment gateway.
  • The Indus Appstore is PhonePe’s attempt at creating a more competitive and localized mobile app store economy for India, which is already the world’s largest market for mobile apps.

Mukesh Ambani backed AI model Reliance’s Hanooman to launch in March
The BharatGPT group backed by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd is set to launch its first ChatGPT-style service next month.Mukesh Ambani backed AI model Reliance's Hanooman to launch in March

  • The group- which includes Reliance and eight affiliated universities- offered a sneak peek of the model which showed a motorcycle mechanic India queried an AI bot in Tamil, a banker talked with the tool in Hindi and a developer used it to write computer code.
  • The model has been dubbed Hanooman and represents India’s race to develop potentially transformative AI technology. The model will work via 11 local languages in four fields: health care, governance, financial services and education.


SPORTS

Former Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal retires from professional cricket
Left-handed batter Faiz Fazal is all set to retire from professional cricket after Vidarbha’s ongoing Ranji Trophy match against Haryana at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur.Former Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal retires from professional cricket

  • The 38-year-old pulled the curtains on his career as the top run-getter for Vidarbha, both in first-class and List A cricket. In 138 first-class matches, Fazal scored 9184 runs at an average of 41 with 24 hundreds and 39 fifties to show for his efforts.
  • The veteran scored 3641 runs from 113 List A matches with 10 centuries and 22 half-centuries.

8-year-old Indian-origin boy from Singapore beats Polish grandmaster, breaks record
Eight-year-old Ashwath Kaushik, an Indian-origin boy who is residing in Singapore, has scripted history by becoming the youngest player ever to defeat a grandmaster in a classical chess tournament.8-year-old Indian-origin boy from Singapore beats Polish grandmaster, breaks record

  • Ashwath defeated seasoned Polish grandmaster Jacek Stopa during the Burgdorfer Stadthaus Open in Switzerland, a competition that draws participants from around the globe.
  • He surpassed the previous record set by Leonid Ivanovic, a Serbian boy who beat a grandmaster at 8 years and 11 months old, just a month earlier.
  • He is one of the 12 players in history who have beaten a grandmaster before the age of 10, and one of the two who have done so at 8. He is also the first player from Singapore to accomplish this feat.


AWARDS

Underwater Photographer of the Year: Alex Dawson wins 2024 award for stunning ‘Whale Bones’ image
Swedish photographer Alex Dawson has been named as Underwater Photographer of the Year 2024 for his image ‘Whale Bones’.Underwater Photographer of the Year: Alex Dawson wins 2024 award for stunning ‘Whale Bones’ image

  • The photo shows a diver beneath the Greenland ice sheet exploring the skeleton of a minke whale.
  • Whale Bones was photographed in the toughest conditions, as a breath-hold diver descends below the Greenland ice sheet to bear witness to the carcasses.
  • The competition for this year’s award was fierce, with more than 6,500 entries submitted from photographers around the globe. Participants competed across 13 categories, including Macro, Wide-Angle, Behaviour, and Wreck, with an additional four categories dedicated to photos captured in British waters.

Shashi Tharoor confrred France’s highest civilian honour
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor was conferred France’s highest civilian honour, the Chevalier de la Legion d’ Honneur France, at an intimate ceremony in the French embassy in the national capital.Shashi Tharoor confrred France’s highest civilian honour

  • The Congress MP was conferred the prestigious award at the French Embassy by French Senate President Gerard Larcher.
  • Mr. Tharoor was awarded the honour in August 2022, but formal conferring took place recently.
  • ‘An Era of Darkness’, ‘Pax Indica’ and ‘The Great Indian Novel’ are some of the most popular names among the plethora of books written by Tharoor.


OBITUARIES

Eminent jurist and Senior Supreme Court Lawyer Fali Nariman passes away
Eminent jurist and Senior Supreme Court Lawyer Fali S Nariman passes away at the age of 95.Eminent jurist and Senior Supreme Court Lawyer Fali Nariman passes away

  • He started his law practice at the Bombay High Court in 1950. He served as the additional solicitor general between 1972 and 1975 and resigned from the post during emergency. Nariman was appointed a Senior Advocate by the Supreme Court of India in 1971. He was also a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha from 1999-2005.
  • Nariman stood out as a distinguished figure in Indian legal history. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1991 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2007.

Ameen Sayani, renowned radio presenter and voice of Geetmala, passes away 
Ameen Sayani, the mellifluous voice that serenaded generations with his iconic “Binaca Geetmala” radio programme, passed away. He was 91.Ameen Sayani, renowned radio presenter and voice of Geetmala, passes away 

  • Known for his iconic program Binaca Geetmala, Sayani’s voice was a staple in Indian households, bridging the gap between music and its lovers across the nation.
  • Sayani’s career spanned over six decades, producing and presenting over 54,000 radio programs and 19,000 voice-overs for advertisements and jingles.He also dabbled in acting, appearing in various films in small roles, often portraying an announcer.


BOOKS & AUTHORS 

A New book titled “Sculpted Stones: Mysteries of Mamallapuram” Authored by Ashwin Prabhu
A new book titled “Sculpted Stones: Mysteries of Mamallapuram” has emerged as a beacon guiding readers through the rich tapestry of history and artistry that defines the ancient town of Mamallapuram.New book titled “Sculpted Stones: Mysteries of Mamallapuram” Authored by Ashwin Prabhu

  • Authored by Ashwin Prabhu and published by Tulika Books, this captivating exploration invites readers to delve into the enigmatic world of ancient sculptural art.
  • “Sculpted Stones” serves as a portal to Mamallapuram’s illustrious past, offering readers a window into the architectural marvels and cultural heritage that have stood the test of time. Through meticulous research and engaging narrative, the book unfolds the stories behind the iconic landmarks that dot the landscape of this historic town.


 

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