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Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 26th March, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 26 March 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

Allahabad High Court Strikes Down Madrasa Education Act
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court declared the UP Board of Madarsa Education Act, 2004, as unconstitutional, ruling that it was violative of the principle of secularism, articles 14, 21, 21-A of the Constitution as well as section 22 of the University Grants Commission, Act of 1956.

Allahabad High Court Strikes Down Madrasa Education Act

  • The court, considering the large number of madarsas and madarsa students in the state, directed the state government to accommodate these students in regular schools recognised under the primary, high school and intermediate education boards of the state. 
  • It also said that additional seats be created (in these schools) and even new schools be established, if needed.

The Chipko Movement: A 50-Year Legacy of Environmental Protection
The Chipko movement, which began in Uttarakhand, a state in the Himalayas, in early 1973, marks its 50th anniversary.

The Chipko Movement: A 50-Year Legacy of Environmental Protection

  • The name “Chipko” means “to hug” in Hindi, referring to the practice of embracing trees to protect them from being cut down. 
  • The movement was sparked by the surge in development in Uttar Pradesh after the 1963 China border conflict, which attracted foreign logging companies to the state’s vast forest resources.

ASI Begins Excavation in MP To Find India’s Oldest Temple
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is excavating a site in Madhya Pradesh, hoping to find India’s oldest temple. 

ASI Begins Excavation in MP To Find India’s Oldest Temple

  • The digging is underway in Nachne village where the experts have zeroed in on two mounds. The excavation sites are just 30 metres away from two ancient temples- a Gupta-era Parvati temple- and close to Chaumukhi temple, built by the Kalachuri Dynasty.
  • The oldest known temples in India are from the Gupta era (4th to early 6th century CE). The majority of the earliest known temples of the country are in Madhya Pradesh- Temple No. 17 in Sanchi, the Nachne Parvati temple, Tigwa’s Vishnu Temple and Bhumara’s Shiva Temple. The excavation team hopes to find pre-Gupta-era temples.

Election Commission Launches Saksham App To Facilitate Easier Voting For Persons-With-Disability
In a bid to provide accessibility to all and leave no voter behind, the Election Commission announced that the voters above 85 years of age and Persons-with-Disabilities (pwd) with 40 percent benchmark disability can vote from home. The Commission launched the Saksham App to facilitate easier voting for PWDs and to avail facilities at Polling Stations.

Election Commission Launches Saksham App To Facilitate Easier Voting For Persons-With-Disability

  • Further, volunteers and wheelchairs will be available at every polling station. The poll body is also arranging transport facilities for the persons-with-disabilities and elderly.
  • Further, it is pushing for permanent Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) in schools as a gift of election process to the students. Assured Minimum Facilities consist of drinking water, toilets, signage, a ramp or wheelchair, helpdesk, voter facilitation centre, sufficient light and shed. 

SC appoints expert committee to look into preservation of Great Indian Bustard
The Supreme Court has recently appointed an expert committee to look into the preservation of the Great Indian Bustard which is “non-negotiable” and “need for sustainable development in the context of meeting the international commitments of the country towards promoting renewable sources of energy”.

SC appoints expert committee to look into preservation of Great Indian Bustard

  • A bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra passed the order observing while dealing with a matter relating to protecting the Great Indian Bustard (GIB). 
  • The court has sought a report from the committee by July and listed the matter for the second week of August 2024.

Government notifies PIB’s  Fact Check Unit under IT Rules 2021
Government of India notified Fact Check Unit (FCU) under the Press Information Bureau (PIB) of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) as the fact check unit of the Central Government.

Government notifies PIB's  Fact Check Unit under IT Rules 2021

  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) notified the PIB FCU under the provisions of the sub-clause (v) of sub-rule (1) of rule 3 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. MIB and MeitY have been working closely on the subject to address the challenge of fake news, especially on social media.
  • The Fact Check Unit under PIB was established in November 2019 with a stated objective of acting as a deterrent to creators and disseminators of fake news and misinformation.  It also provides people with an easy avenue to report suspicious and questionable information pertaining to the Government of India.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

PM Modi Inaugurates State-of-the-Art Medical Facility in Thimphu
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a ₹140-crore hospital for women and children built in Thimphu with Indian assistance before winding up a two-day visit to Bhutan aimed at bolstering bilateral ties and cooperation in a wide range of areas.

PM Modi Inaugurates State-of-the-Art Medical Facility in Thimphu

  • The Indian government supported the development of the 150-bed hospital in two phases. The first phase was built at a cost of ₹22 crore and has been operational since 2019. The construction of the second phase, with a cost of ₹119 crore, began in 2019 as part of Bhutan’s 12th five-year plan and was completed recently.
  • The hospital will add value to the quality of mother and child health services in Bhutan. It has state-of-the-art facilities for pediatrics, gynecology and obstetrics, anesthesiology, operation theatre, neonatal intensive care and pediatric intensive care.

Global E-Waste Generation Rising 5 Times Faster Than Recycling: UN Report
The world’s electronic waste generation is increasing five times faster than documented e-waste recycling, according to the United Nation’s fourth Global E-waste Monitor (GEM) report released recently. 

Global E-Waste Generation Rising 5 Times Faster Than Recycling: UN Report

  • According to the report from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the 62 million tonnes of e-waste produced in 2022 would fill around 1.55 million 40-tonne trucks, equivalent to encircling the equator with trucks bumper-to-bumper.
  • However, a mere 22.3 per cent of the year’s e-waste mass was properly collected and recycled in 2022, leaving USD 62 billion worth of recoverable natural resources unaccounted for and heightening pollution risks globally.
  • E-waste recycling currently meets just 1 per cent of rare earth element demand, the report said, highlighting a significant gap in resource recovery.

UN adopts first global artificial intelligence resolution
The General Assembly approved the first United Nations resolution on artificial intelligence, giving global support to an international effort to ensure the powerful new technology benefits all nations, respects human rights and is “safe, secure and trustworthy.”

UN adopts first global artificial intelligence resolution

  • The resolution, sponsored by the United States and co-sponsored by 123 countries, including China, was adopted by consensus with a bang of the gavel and without a vote, meaning it has the support of all 193 U.N. member nations.
  • The unanimous adoption of the resolution demonstrates the global commitment to governing AI and ensuring its responsible development and use.

Mumbai surpasses Beijing as Asia’s billionaire capital: Hurun Report
In a significant shift, Mumbai has dethroned Beijing as Asia’s billionaire capital, marking a historic milestone in the latest Hurun Global Rich List 2024. With 271 billionaires, India now stands third globally in terms of billionaire count.

Mumbai surpasses Beijing as Asia’s billionaire capital: Hurun Report

  • The report unveils a total of 3,279 billionaires globally, with 167 additions in the past year. While China maintained its lead with 814 billionaires, India added nearly 100 new billionaires, while China saw a decline of 155.
  • This meteoric rise in India’s billionaire count reflects economic confidence, with Mumbai emerging as a symbol of the country’s growing prosperity. Moreover, New Delhi’s entry into the top 10 cities for billionaires underscores India’s rising prominence on the global wealth map.
  • Among the global elite, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani secures the 10th position. Elon Musk retains his position as the wealthiest person, with new entrants like Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page making waves in the top 10 rankings.
  • The top 10 cities with billionaires include, New York, London, Mumbai, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Moscow, New Delhi, and San Francisco.
  • The top 10 nations with billionaires include, China, the US, India, the UK , Germany, Switzerland, Russia, Italy, France and Brazil.


BANKING & FINANCE

Government to strengthen regional rural banks; Rs 6200 crore allotted for recapitalisation
The Modi government has provided Rs 6212.03 crore to Regional Rural Banks under the recapitalization scheme as of March 6.

Government to strengthen regional rural banks; Rs 6200 crore allotted for recapitalisation

 

  • The performance of RRBs has improved significantly, with a consolidated CRAR (Capital to Risk-weighted Assets Ratio) at an all-time high of 13.83 per cent as of December 31, 2023.
  • Under the scheme, recapitalization support is provided to RRBs to maintain the minimum prescribed capital-to-risk (Weighted) Assets ratio of nine per cent.

RBI announces Financial Literacy Ideathon
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced a Financial Literacy Ideathon for postgraduate students, currently enrolled in recognised educational institutions.

RBI announces Financial Literacy Ideathon

  • The students are expected to come up with creative strategies to propagate financial literacy among the youth so as to empower them to engage in responsible financial behaviour and take informed financial decisions.
  • The central bank, which is observing the Financial Literacy Week (FLW) 2024 from February 26 to March 1, 2024 on the theme “Make a Right Start – Become Financially Smart”, said participants are required to submit the ideation paper on the subject ‘Money Matters for Young Adults: Rethinking Outreach Strategies in up to 2,000 words. ’


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Iconic dairy brand Amul expands globally with debut in US market
Amul, known as the ‘Taste of India,’ is making its debut in the international market with the launch of its fresh products in the United States.This marks the first time that Amul’s range of fresh products will be available outside India, targeting a market with a significant Indian and Asian diaspora. 

Iconic dairy brand Amul expands globally with debut in US market

  • Amul has partnered with the Michigan Milk Producers Association, a 108-year-old dairy cooperative in the US, to bring its fresh milk products to American consumers. The announcement was made at the association’s annual meeting in Detroit, showcasing Amul’s commitment to global expansion.
  • The move reflects the evolution of India’s dairy sector, which has played a pivotal role in the country’s growth story. From being a milk-deficit nation heavily reliant on imports in the 1950s and 1960s, India has emerged as the largest producer of milk globally, contributing about 21% to global milk production.

Venezuela became India’s fifth largest crude oil supplier in February
Indian refiners exploited the US sanctions waiver on Venezuela to import more than 1,75,000 barrels per day (b/d) crude oil from the South American country making it the fifth largest supplier in February.

Venezuela became India’s fifth largest crude oil supplier in February

  • As per energy intelligence firm Kpler, the world’s third largest importer secured more than 2,54,000 b/d in January and over 1,91,000 b/d in December 2023 from Venezuela. Until 2019, India was Venezuela’s third largest purchaser, after the US and China, importing roughly 3,00,000 b/d on an average.

PepsiCo to invest $400 million more in two new plants in Vietnam
PepsiCo Inc., a leading global food and beverage company, has announced a significant investment commitment of an additional $400 million in Vietnam.

PepsiCo to invest $400 million more in two new plants in Vietnam

  • This funds will be used to build two new manufacturing facilities powered by renewable energy sources in the Southeast Asian nation. 
  • The Vietnamese government’s announcement coincided with a three-day working visit to Vietnam by delegations of more than 60 U.S. enterprises, including Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverage.
  • The investment will see the establishment of a beverage manufacturing plant in Long An province, located in the southern region of Vietnam, with a projected cost exceeding 300 million. Additionally, a food processing facility will be built in the northern province of a Nam province with an investment of $90 million. 

India’s GDP to grow by 6.8% in FY25: S&P Global
S&P Global raised India’s FY25 growth forecast to 6.8% on the back of strong domestic demand and a pick-up in exports. The American rating agency, which last November projected India’s FY25 GDP growth at 6.4%, expects it to moderate in the coming fiscal year after better-than-expected 7.6% growth in FY24.

S&P Global India launches the ‘India Research Chapter’

  • For Asian emerging market (EM) economies, it generally project robust growth, with India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam in the lead, said in its Economic Outlook Asia-Pacific report.
  • India remains the world’s fastest-growing major economy. In December the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) revised its growth forecast for the economy in FY24 to 7%, up from its previous projection of 6.5%. The revision was due to higher-than-anticipated growth in the first two quarters of the financial year.


SPORTS

Virat Kohli Becomes First Indian to Score 12,000 T20 Runs
Indian skipper Virat Kohli has accomplished another milestone in his glorious cricket career. The ace Indian batsman has become the first Indian cricketer to score 12,000 runs in T20 format. 

Virat Kohli Becomes First Indian to Score 12,000 T20 Runs

  • Kohli achieved this remarkable feat during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 opening clash between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) at MA Chidambaram Stadium. 
  • The 12,000 runs include those he scored for RCB in the IPL and the now-defunct Champions League, for Delhi in domestic Twenty Over Cricket, and for India in T20 Internationals.
  • With this, Kohli is now among the world’s six players after T20 stalwarts Chris Gayle, Shoaib Malik, Kieron Pollard, Alex Hales, and David Warner to achieve this record.

Carlos Sainz Wins Australian Grand Prix 2024
Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz of Spain poses with his trophy after winning the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park, in Melbourne, Australia.

Carlos Sainz Wins Australian Grand Prix 2024

  • The Spaniard took advantage of Verstappen’s early retirement, his first in two years due to a fiery mechanical failure.Verstappen had won the first two F1 races of the season in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and was on a nine-race winning streak.
  • Sainz finished ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc for Ferrari’s first 1-2 result since the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix, with McLaren’s Lando Norris finishing in third for his first podium at Albert Park. Sainz was the only non-Red Bull driver to win a race last season.


APPOINTMENTS

Luis Montenegro Named as the Prime Minister of Portugal
The 51-year-old lawyer and veteran parliamentarian Luis Montenegro succeeds the Socialist Party’s Antonio Costa, who was in power since 2015.

Luis Montenegro Named as the Prime Minister of Portugal

  • Montenegro’s AD beat the incumbent Socialist Party (PS) in March 10 elections but won just 79 seats, far short of a majority in the 230-seat parliament.
  • Montenegro will present his new government soon, with it due to take office on April 2, the newly elected leader told reporters after a meeting with President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

FSIB selects CMDs for New India Assurance, United India
Financial Services Institutions Bureau (FSIB), the head-hunting agency for public sector banks and insurance firms, has selected Girija Subramanian, Chairperson and MD of Agriculture Insurance Company (AIC), and Bhupesh Sushil Rahul, AIC General Manager, as the next CMDs of New India Assurance and United India Insurance, respectively.The FSIB, for the first time, selected nine executive directors for PSU general insurers.

FSIB selects CMDs for New India Assurance, United India

  • The post of CMD at United India Insurance is vacant as S Tripathy retired in February. The top post at New India Assurance will fall vacant after Neerja Kapur retires in April end.
  • The nine executive directors picked for PSU general insurers are: Rashmi Bajpai and Amit Misra for Oriental Insurance Company (OIC), HJ Joshi and Radhika CS for GIC Re, T. Babu Paul and CG Prasad for National Insurance Company (NICL), Sunita Gupta and PC Gothwal for United India Insurance and Dasarathi Singh for AICIL. 


AWARDS

Michel Talagrand Wins Abel Prize for Work Wrangling Randomness
The 2024 Abel Prize, the mathematics world’s Nobel Prize equivalent has been awarded to Michel Talagrand(72) for his advances in describing and predicting the universe’s randomness. 

Michel Talagrand Wins Abel Prize for Work Wrangling Randomness

  • French probability theorist Michel Talagrand was awarded the Abel Prize, one of the highest honors in mathematics, for developing a deep and sophisticated understanding of such processes. 
  • The prize, presented by the king of Norway, is modeled on the Nobel and comes with 7.5 million Norwegian kroner (about $700,000). 

Indian Airline IndiGo Named ‘Airline of the Year’ at 2024 Air Transport Awards
Budget airline IndiGo is named as the ‘Airline of the Year’ at the Air Transport Awards 2024 held in Greece’s Athens. The high-profile event witnessed the participation of some of the most prominent names in the industry. 

Indian Airline IndiGo Named ‘Airline of the Year’ at 2024 Air Transport Awards

  • The 2024 Air Transport Awards was organised in partnership with Hermes – Air Transport Organisation and ATN – Air Transport News to recognize the contributions made in the aviation sector. The winners are voted for by both the readers of Air Transport News as well as a jury of international aviation experts.
  • IndiGo recently became India’s first carrier to operate 2,000 daily flights and carry 100 million passengers in a year. The low-cost carrier aims to aggressively expand its network by doubling its fleet size by the end of this decade.

Indian Scientist Prof Jayant Murthy Honoured with Asteroid Name
An asteroid has been named after Indian Professor and distinguished scientist Jayant Murthy. 

Indian Scientist Prof Jayant Murthy Honoured with Asteroid Name

  • He is known for his work in space missions, ultraviolet astronomy, and interstellar medium. Previously cataloged as 2005 EX296, the asteroid has now been designated as (215884) Jayantmurthy. 
  • The announcement was made by the International Astronomical Union (IAU)’s Working Group, the authority responsible for naming small objects in the Solar System,
  • MW Buie discovered the asteroid (215884) Jayantmurthy in 2005 at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, USA. It completed a full orbit of the Sun between Mars and Jupiter every 3.3 years.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 

Army deploys advanced anti-drone defense systems along China border
In a strategic move to bolster its defense capabilities along the northern borders with China, the Indian Army has inducted an initial lot of seven new indigenous integrated drone detection and interdiction systems (IDD&IS).

Army deploys advanced anti-drone defense systems along China border

  • These systems, which are vehicle-based, provide for both “soft kills” of hostile drones through jamming and “hard kills” through lasers. Developed by DRDO and Bharat Electronics, these systems, known as Mark-1 variants, add to the existing counter-drone system in place. 
  • The systems provide an integrated capability to detect low radar cross-section drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and enable their destruction through integrated application of soft and hard kills.


BOOKS & AUTHORS 

First Magahi novel ‘Phool Bahadur’ translated by Abhay unveiled at Dibrugarh University Literature Festival
‘Fool Bahadur’, the first Magahi novel, translated into English by Indian poet-diplomat Abhay K, was launched at the Dibrugarh University International Literature Festival by Jnanpith Awardee Damodar Mauzo, Prof Rita Kothari, Dr AJ Thomas and Chuden Kabimo in the presence of writers and invitees from several countries.

First Magahi novel 'Phool Bahadur' translated by Abhay unveiled at Dibrugarh University Literature Festival

  • First published in 1928, ‘Fool Bahadur’ by Jayanath Pati had been forgotten until recently, while Abhay K was editing The Book of Bihari Literature. It is the first Magahi novel to be translated into English.
  • Published by Penguin Random House India, ‘Fool Bahadur’ is a delightful novel set in the town of Bihar Sharif in the Nalanda district of Bihar.
  • The plot of the book revolves around the ambitious mukhtar Samlal and how “a nawab, a courtesan, and a circle officer come together in a delightful tryst as each one tries to exploit the other.


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