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Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 29th March, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 29 March 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

ISRO’s START 2024 Program to Inspire Youth in Space Science
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will conduct the Space science and Technology Awareness Training (START) 2024 programme during April and May.

ISRO’s START 2024 Program to Inspire Youth in Space Science

  • In this connection, ISRO solicits Expression of Interest (EOI) to host START-2024 in educational institutes, universities, colleges within India who are offering UG and PG courses in physical sciences and technology.
  • The main objective of the training program is to attract youngsters to the fields of space science and technology. The training modules will cover introductory-level topics on various verticals of space science and technology, including Indian space exploration programs and research opportunities.

MoRD Notifies 3-10% hike in MGNREGA Wage Rates for FY25
Ahead of the general elections, the Centre has notified a 3-10 per cent increase in the wage rates for MGNREGA workers for the financial year 2024-25. The new wage rates will come into effect from April 1,2024.

MoRD Notifies 3-10% hike in MGNREGA Wage Rates for FY25

  • While Goa (10.56 per cent) and Karnataka (10.4 per cent) have seen the highest percentage increase, wage rates in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are set to see the lowest increase at 3 per cent for FY’24-25. Andhra Pradesh (10.29%), Telangana (10.29%) and Chattisgarh (9.95%) saw robust percentage increases.
  • The average MGNREGA wage increase across India is ₹28 per day . The average wage for 2024-25 will be ₹289 as against ₹261 for FY’23-24. 

cVIGIL: ECI’s App to Monitor Elections
The Election Commission of India (ECI) is keeping a close watch on the election process through the cVIGIL app. The app allows citizens to report violations of the Model Code of Conduct and election expenditures by capturing photos and videos. 

cVIGIL: ECI’s App to Monitor Elections

  • cVIGIL is a mobile application developed by the Election Commission of India (ECI) to enable citizens to report violations of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) during elections. The app is available for download on Android and iOS devices. 
  • To report a violation, users simply need to open the app, select the type of violation, and provide details of the incident, including location, time, and photographs or videos. The app also allows users to track the progress of their complaints.

900-year-old Chalukyan inscription discovered in state of utter neglect at Gangapuram
A 900-year-old Kannada inscription from the Kalyana Chalukya dynasty has been found in a state of utter neglect at Gangapuram, a temple Town, in Jadcherla mandal, Mahabubnagar district.

900-year-old Chalukyan inscription discovered in state of utter neglect at Gangapuram

  • E Siva Nagi Reddy, archaeologist, visited the surroundings of Chowdamma temple located on the outskirts of Gangapuram and found the inscription lying on a tank bund nearby.
  • Reddy said the inscriptions were issued in 1134 CE by the customs officers of Tailapa-III, son of Kalyana Chalukyan emperor ‘Bhulokamalla’ Someswara-III.

Indian Army Kicks Off Annual Army Commanders’ Conference in Hybrid Format
Army Commanders’ Conference, first for the year 2024 will be organised in hybrid mode with the conference in virtual mode scheduled on 28th March 2024 and thereafter physical mode in New Delhi on 01st and 02nd April 2024.

Indian Army Kicks Off Annual Army Commanders’ Conference in Hybrid Format 

  • The conference will be chaired by the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), General Manoj Pande, and attended by senior military leadership, including Army Commanders participating virtually from their respective Command Headquarters.
  • The conference serves as a pivotal forum for apex leadership of the Indian Army to brainstorm conceptual issues, review and assess the overall security situation. It will lay down key priorities facilitating important policy decisions, to chart the course for future direction.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

UNEP Report: Globally, Around 19% of the Food Produced was Wasted in 2022
A recent United Nations report has revealed that the world wasted an estimated 19% of the food produced globally in 2022, totaling about 1.05 billion metric tons. The report, titled the U.N. Environment Programme’s Food Waste Index Report, was published and tracks countries’ progress in halving food waste by 2030.

UNEP Report: Globally, Around 19% of the Food Produced was Wasted in 2022

  • The U.N. noted a significant increase in the number of countries reporting for the index, almost doubling from the first report in 2021. However, caution is advised in direct comparisons to the 2021 report due to data limitations in many countries.
  • The report, co-authored by UNEP and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), analyzed data from households, food service, and retailers. It found that each person wastes about 79 kilograms (approximately 174 pounds) of food annually, equivalent to at least 1 billion meals wasted worldwide daily.
  • The majority of food waste, about 60%, comes from households, while food service (restaurants) contributes 28%, and retailers account for 12%. Co-author Clementine O’Connor, UNEP’s focal point for food waste, described the situation as a “travesty” and emphasized the importance of collaboration and systemic action to tackle the problem.

India releases 2nd tranche of Rs 500 Crore to Bhutan for GyalSung Infrastructure Project
India has released the second tranche of Rs 500 crore to Bhutan for the development of infrastructure related to the GyalSung Project. The first tranche of Rs 500 crore was released on January 28 earlier this year.

India releases 2nd tranche of Rs 500 Crore to Bhutan for GyalSung Infrastructure Project

  • The second tranche was handed over by India’s Ambassador to Bhutan Sudhakar Dalela to Bhutan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Lyonpo D N Dhungyel.
  • This comes less than a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 23 concluded a fruitful two-day state visit to Bhutan during which he assured Thimphu of New Delhi’s firm support in its quest for development and agreed to provide Rs 10,000 crore to the Himalayan nation over the next five years.

Indian Parliamentary Delegation Strengthens Ties with Armenia and IPU
The Indian Parliamentary Delegation, led by Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Harivansh Narayan Singh, held a bilateral meeting with their Armenian counterparts on the sidelines of the 148th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) event in Geneva, Switzerland. The meetings and discussions during the IPU event aimed to strengthen parliamentary ties between India and other nations.

Indian Parliamentary Delegation Strengthens Ties with Armenia and IPU

  • The Deputy Chairman also met with the IPU President, Tulia Ackson, the Speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania.The delegation comprises five members from Rajya Sabha: S Niranjan Reddy, Sujeet Kumar, Ashok Mittal, Prashanta Nanda, and Sumitra.
  • The Armenian delegation was represented by the Vice President of the National Assembly, Hakob Arshakyan. Harivansh appreciated Armenia’s support to India in multilateral initiatives and emphasized the growing partnership between the two countries.

Florida Imposes Restrictions on Social Media for Minors
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation that prohibits people under 14 years old from having social-media accounts, regardless of parental consent, one of the most restrictive laws aimed at curbing social-media access for minors.

Florida Imposes Restrictions on Social Media for Minors

  • Under the new law, social-media companies are required to close accounts believed to be used by minors under 14. The platforms must also cancel accounts at the request of parents or minors, and all information from the accounts must be deleted.

Thailand’s Historic Move: Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage
Thailand’s lawmakers passed a legislation to recognize same-sex marriage, paving the way for the country to become the first in Southeast Asia to guarantee marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples. The 500-member House of Representatives voted to pass the so-called “marriage equality” bill, technically an amendment to the Civil and Commercial Code, in a final reading.

Thailand’s Historic Move: Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage 

  • The bill now heads to the upper-house Senate, which is set to review it on April 2. It will then be endorsed by the King and published in the Royal Gazette. The amendments will take effect 120 days later. 
  • When the changes come into force, Thailand will recognize marriage registrations of same-sex partners aged 18 and above, along with their rights to inheritance, tax allowances and child adoption, among others. 


BANKING & FINANCE

PayU Introduces Industry-First Downpayment EMI Solution for Online Retail
PayU, one of India’s leading digital financial services providers, is proud to announce the launch of a first-of-its-kind Downpayment EMI solution that enables customers to make a partial payment upfront while remaining can be converted into easy EMIs, making high-ticket purchases more affordable & accessible.

PayU Introduces Industry-First Downpayment EMI Solution for Online Retail

  • PayU merchant partners can now offer their customers the flexibility to decide the downpayment amount with Credit Card EMI, and even combine UPI with Credit Card EMIs for greater affordability and convenience. 
  • This no-code solution offers No Cost EMI with pre-decided downpayment options and control over subvention, helping merchants increase revenues and empower customers to save on EMI interests while fulfilling their aspirations.

Kotak Mahindra Bank acquires 100% stake in Sonata Finance for Rs 537 crore
Kotak Mahindra Bank informed exchanges that it had acquired 100 per cent stake in Sonata Finance Private Limited, a microfinance institution for Rs 537 crore. 

Kotak Mahindra Bank acquires 100% stake in Sonata Finance for Rs 537 crore

  • With this acquisition, Sonata has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the private sector bank. Sonata operates in 10 states through 549 branches and has assets under management worth Rs 2,620 crore as on December 31, 2023. 


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Israel Aerospace Industries opens its Indian subsidiary “AeroSpace Services India”
Aerospace and defence company, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), has opened its Indian subsidiary in New Delhi. 

Israel Aerospace Industries opens its Indian subsidiary “AeroSpace Services India”

  • The opening of AeroSpace Services India (ASI) is in sync with the Indian government’s vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’. 
  • AeroSpace Services India is the sole authorised OEM’s Technical Representative for the entire Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) system. 

Wipro GE Healthcare to invest Rs 8,000 crore on manufacturing, R&D in next 5 years
Wipro GE Healthcare announced an investment of over $1 billion (Rs 8000 crore) in manufacturing output and local research and development (R&D) over next 5 years.

Wipro GE Healthcare to invest Rs 8,000 crore on manufacturing, R&D in next 5 years

  • This strategic investment bolsters Wipro GE Healthcare’s local manufacturing footprint to address the growing domestic and international market and will build supply chain resiliency for the organisation.
  • As a part of this investment, the Wipro GE Healthcare ‘Made in India’ PET CT Discovery IQ will be exported to 15 countries.Additionally, the ‘Made in India’ Revolution Aspire CT, Revolution ACT and MR breast coils will be manufactured in India for the world. 

Ambani and Adani Join Forces: Reliance Buys Stake in Adani’s Power Project
Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries has bought a 26 per cent stake in a Madhya Pradesh power project of Gautam Adani, and signed a pact to use the plant’s 500 MW of electricity for captive use. This is the first business collaboration between the two billionaires.

Ambani and Adani Join Forces: Reliance Buys Stake in Adani’s Power Project

  • Mahan Energen Ltd (MEL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Adani Power Ltd, has agreed to allot five crore equity shares of face value of Rs 10 each of MEL to RIL at par.
  • The proposed investment by RIL is in compliance with the provisions of Electricity Rules, 2005 in terms of which the company, as a captive user, is required to own 26% proportionate ownership in one unit of MEL of 600 MW capacity, with RIL being the captive user of 500 MW generation capacity, RIL said in an exchange filing. 
  • RIL and MEL have entered into a 20-year long term power purchase agreement for this purpose. MEL, a company engaged in generation and supply of power, was incorporated on October 19, 2005. 

SBI Mutual Fund Acquires 3% Stake in Savita Oil Technologies
SBI Mutual fund acquired 3% stake or 20.73 lakh shares in Savita Oil Technologies at ₹ 408 per share. 

SBI Mutual Fund Acquires 3% Stake in Savita Oil Technologies

  • With a market capitalisation of Rs. 3,033.5 crores, the shares of Savita Oil Technologies Limited were trading in the green at Rs. 438.95, up by 6.26 percent. 


SPORTS

Kenya allrounder Collins Obuya retires from cricket
Veteran Kenyan allrounder Collins Obuya(42) has announced his retirement from cricket following Kenya’s defeat to Uganda in the third-place play-off match at the African Games.

Kenya allrounder Collins Obuya retires from cricket

  • Obuya who had made his international debut back in 2001 against the West Indies, retired after featuring in his side’s 106-run defeat against Uganda in the third-place play-off of the African Games. 
  • With 2044 ODI runs, Obuya is one of the four Kenya players to have scored over 2000 runs in the format, before they were stripped of ODI status. And his 1794 T20I runs are the most by any Kenya batter. He also picked up 60 international wickets.


APPOINTMENTS

India’s Kamal Kishore Appointed as UNSG’s Special Representative in UNDRR
A top official at India’s National Disaster Management Authority has been appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as his special representative for disaster risk reduction.

India’s Kamal Kishore Appointed as UNSG’s Special Representative in UNDRR

  • Kamal Kishore (55) has been appointed as assistant secretary-general and special representative of the secretary-general for disaster risk reduction, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR). 
  • Kishore, in his current position at the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), holds the rank of secretary to the government of India. He succeeds Mami Mizutori of Japan at UNDRR.

New Chiefs Appointed to Lead NIA, NDRF, and BPR&D
In a significant reorganisation within India’s security apparatus, the Centre has announced pivotal appointments in key agencies, giving charge of the new Director General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to distinguished IPS officer Sadanand Vasant Date, his batchmate Rajeev Kumar as chief of Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D) and their one-year-old junior Piyush Anand as head of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). 

New Chiefs Appointed to Lead NIA, NDRF, and BPR&D

  • Date will take charge as the head of the anti-terror federal probe agency following the retirement of incumbent NIA DG Dinkar Gupta on March 31.
  • The ACC has also approved the proposal of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for the premature repatriation of PV Ramasashtry, a 1989-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, and currently working as Special DG of the Border Security Force (BSF).

Nidhu Saxena Appointed as MD & CEO of Bank of Maharashtra
Bank of Maharashtra has appointed Nidhu Saxena as the managing director & chief executive officer (MD & CEO) of the bank for a period of three years effective from 27 March 2024.

Nidhu Saxena Appointed as MD & CEO of Bank of Maharashtra

  • Nidhu Saxena, executive director, Union Bank of India was appointed as CEO & MD due to A.S. Rajeev, consequent upon his selection as Vigilance Commissioner in Central Vigilance Commission, for a period of three years with effect from the date of assumption of office, or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
  • He has over 26 years of experience working in diversified areas of banking. Prior to joining Bank of Maharashtra, he was the Executive Director of Union Bank of India. During his tenure, he worked in all key banking functions and has been in several positions such as Branch Head, Zonal Head and Vertical Head.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

China Successfully Launched Yunhai-3 02 Satellite to Monitor Atmospheric, and Space Environments
China successfully launched the Yunhai-3 02 satellite from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Shanxi Province, marking a significant advancement in atmospheric and space monitoring capabilities. The satellite, carried by a modified Long March-6 rocket, ascending into its designated orbit with precision.

China Successfully Launched Yunhai-3 02 Satellite to Monitor Atmospheric, and Space Environments

  • Designed for multifaceted applications, the Yunhai-3 02 satellite will primarily focus on atmospheric and marine environment surveys, space environment monitoring, disaster prevention, reduction efforts, and scientific experiments.
  • This launch signifies the 514th mission of the Long March series carrier rockets, highlighting China’s continued commitment to space exploration and technological advancement.


OBITUARIES

Sahitya Akademi Awardee Dr Gurulinga Kapse Passed Away
Writer, Central Sahitya Academi and Rajyotsava awardee Gurulinga Kapse passed away at a private hospital in Dharwad after a spell of illness. He was 96.

Sahitya Akademi Awardee Dr Gurulinga Kapse Passed Away

  • A native of B.K. Loni village in Indi taluk of Vijayapura district in Karnataka, Gurulinga Kapse had served as Professor at Karnatak University and chairman of Kannada Sahitya Academy.
  • He was also the recipient of several awards, including the ‘Varadaraja Adya Award,’ ‘Anandakanda Award,’ and ‘Rajya Sahitya Academy Honorary Award.’

Psychologist Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences Passed Away
Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist who pioneered theories in behavioural economics that heavily influenced the discipline, and won him a Nobel prize, has died at age 90Psychologist Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences Passed Away

  • Kahneman, who wrote bestselling book Thinking, Fast and Slow, argued against the notion that people’s behaviour is rooted in a rational decision-making process – rather that it is often based on instinct.
  • In 2002, Kahneman was awarded the Nobel memorial prize in economic sciences in recognition for his research in the fields of psychology and economics.


BOOKS & AUTHORS 

A book titled “From A Car Shed To The Corner Room & Beyond” by S. Raman
Raman’s autobiography, “From A Car Shed To The Corner Room & Beyond,” has been released recently. 

book titled “From A Car Shed To The Corner Room & Beyond” by S. Raman

  • This book offers a first-person account of his remarkable journey from a clerk at SBI to becoming the Chairman and Managing Director of Canara Bank and a full-time Member of SEBI. 
  • The book explores the intricate dance between personal integrity, professional challenges, and systemic issues in the financial world.

Zoological Survey of India Published a Book Titled ‘An Illustrated Guide to the Lepidoptera of India’
The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has unveiled a publication titled “An Illustrated Guide to the Lepidoptera of India: Taxonomic Procedures, Family Characters, Diversity, and Distribution.”

Zoological Survey of India Published a Book Titled ‘An Illustrated Guide to the Lepidoptera of India’

  • Authored by experts including Dr. Dhriti Banerjee, Director of ZSI, along with Dr. Navneet Singh, Dr. Rahul Joshi, Dr. P. C. Pathania from ZSI, and renowned Lepidoptera expert Dr. R.C. Kendrick from Hong Kong, this book represents a significant milestone in the field of lepidopterology.
  • Its genesis can be traced back to the 6th Asian Lepidoptera Conservation Symposium hosted by ZSI in 2019. There, the necessity for a comprehensive guidebook was fervently discussed. This guidebook aids both amateurs and professionals in the study of lepidoptera. Initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic, the project saw continuous updates and revisions. These updates spanned over four years, and finally culminated in the publication of this resource.
  • Moreover, the book serves as a compendium of diagnostic characters for all families and superfamilies of Butterflies and Moths found in India. It provides insights into taxonomic procedures, collection methods, laboratory identification techniques, and distribution patterns of lepidopteran species globally. 


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