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Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 8th March, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 8 March 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

MSME Ministry Launches Three Initiatives To Propel Women Entrepreneurship
The 9th Annual Shakti International Women Entrepreneurs Summit held in New Delhi. During this program focused on women entrepreneurship, women entrepreneurs who were beneficiaries of the CGTMSE scheme as well as better performing women entrepreneurs were honored. MSME Ministry Launches Three Initiatives To Propel Women Entrepreneurship

  • Union Minister for MSME Narayan Rane launched the following three new initiatives at the summit.

1) Launch of a joint integrated national campaign by Ministry of  MSME and Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) ‘ Panjikaran Se Pragati.’ This national campaign is a clarion call to women entrepreneurs across the nation to get Udyam registered and unlock a world of opportunities.
2) Joint program of the Ministry of MSME and the Women’s Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) ‘WEP Unnati _ Udyamita se Pragati tak.’ This MSME – WEP Award-to-Reward (ATR) programme is a ground-breaking initiative to take Women MSME’s to the next level of growth by providing comprehensive capacity building support through WEP.
3) The ‘mentorship platform’ of Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP)

Minimum age to cast postal ballots hiked to 85 years
In a significant development, the Indian government, following consultations with the Election Commission of India (ECI), has revised the minimum age criterion for senior citizens to avail the postal ballot voting facility. Minimum age to cast postal ballots hiked to 85 years

  • The decision, which comes into effect immediately, raises the eligibility age from 80 to 85 years, marking a pivotal change in the electoral process aimed at ensuring greater convenience for the nation’s elderly population. 
  • According to the most recent electoral data published, India boasts a staggering electorate of 96.88 crore, with 1.85 crore citizens above the age of 80. Under the amended Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, the definition of “senior citizens” eligible for postal ballot voting has been updated in Section 27(A) (e) to include only those above 85 years, replacing the previous threshold of 80 years.

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw launches NITI Aayog’s – ‘NITI for States’ Platform
Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Communications, Railways, and Electronics & Information Technology, launched the ‘NITI for States’ platform, a comprehensive digital initiative designed to empower states and union territories (UTs) in their pursuit of national development goals.Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw launches NITI Aayog’s – ‘NITI for States’ Platform

  • Vaishnaw, also inaugurated the ‘NITI For States – Viksit Bharat Strategy Room’ at NITI Aayog in the presence of Prof. Ramesh Chand, Dr V. K. Saraswat, & Dr. Arvind Virmani, Members of NITI Aayog and Shri B.V.R. Subrahmanyam, CEO, NITI Aayog. 
  • Additionally, Vaishnaw inaugurated the ‘NITI for States’ Exhibition at Rang Bhawan, Akashvani, New Delhi. This Exhibition, that was a result of collaboration of various government organisations, took visitors through some of its salient features such as mobile integration for easy accessibility, Expert Helpdesk, built-in AI and Multilingual Support by Bhashini. 
  • The ‘NITI for States’ platform is a cornerstone initiative empowering states and UTs to contribute significantly to the collective vision of a developed India. This platform underscores NITI Aayog’s commitment to fostering collaborative governance and promoting good governance practices across the nation.

MoRD and Ease My Trip signed MoU to enable Lakhpati Didis in the Travel and Tourism sector
The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and Easytrip Planners Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM)‘s SHG Didis for livelihoods opportunities in the travel and tourism sector.MoRD and Ease My Trip signed MoU to enable Lakhpati Didis in the Travel and Tourism sector

  • The MoU will facilitate the SHG Didis, who would be called ‘Ticket Wali Didis’, to earn their livelihoods in the ever growing travel and tourism sectors and help enable them become Lakhpati Didis.
  • As per the MoU, MoRD will mobilise the SHG members and ensure their availability for the training by EMT for the purpose. The eligibility criteria for selection of the Didis will be basic knowledge of reading & writing English / Hindi and knowledge of using a Computer & browsing the internet.

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar Inaugurates 2 STPI Centres in Kerala
Union Minister of State for Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar facilitated an MoU between IBM and C-DAC, Thiruvananthapuram, which will aim to accelerate India’s processor design and manufacturing capabilities for high performance computing. Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar Inaugurates 2 STPI Centres in Kerala

  • This event took place at the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) during the 4th Semicon India FutureDesign Roadshow.
  • The minister also announced that the upcoming Bharat Semiconductor Research Centre (BSRC) will have a regional centre at IIST, Thiruvananthapuram, catalysing the city’s startup and tech ecosystem.
  • To significantly boost the electronics, IT sector, and startup ecosystem in Kerala, the Union Minister of State for Electronics & IT, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, and Jal Shakti Rajeev Chandrasekhar also inaugurated the new Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) centres in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi.

Ministry of Jal Shakti Signs Agreement with Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore for Establishment of International Centre of Excellence for Dams (ICED)
The Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore for the establishment of an International Centre of Excellence for Dams (ICED).Ministry of Jal Shakti Signs Agreement with Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore for Establishment of International Centre of Excellence for Dams (ICED)

  • It will act as a technological arm of the Ministry to provide specialised technical support in investigations, modelling, research and innovations, and technical support services for the Indian and overseas dam owners.
  • This MoA will remain valid for ten years or till the duration of the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) Phase-II and III Scheme, whichever is earlier, from the date of signing this MoA.
  • The Centre will work on dam safety to support the Ministry and provide solutions to various emerging challenges faced in dam safety through scientific research.

Cabinet approves additional instalment of Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief to Central Government employees and pensioners
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved to release an additional instalment of Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners w.e.f. 1.1.2024 representing an increase of 4% over the existing rate of 46% of the Basic Pay/Pension, to compensate against price rise.Cabinet approves additional instalment of Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief to Central Government employees and pensioners

  • The combined impact on the exchequer on account of both Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief would be Rs.12,868.72 crore per annum.  This will benefit about 49.18 lakh Central Government employees and 67.95 lakh pensioners.
  • This increase is in accordance with the accepted formula, which is based on the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission.

Cabinet Approves Ambitious IndiaAI Mission to Strengthen the AI Innovation Ecosystem
In furtherance to the vision of Making AI in India and Making AI Work for India, the Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the comprehensive national-level IndiaAI mission with a budget outlay of Rs.10,371.92 crore. The Mission will be implemented by ‘IndiaAI’ Independent Business Division (IBD) under Digital India Corporation (DIC). Cabinet Approves Ambitious IndiaAI Mission to Strengthen the AI Innovation Ecosystem

  • The IndiaAI mission will establish a comprehensive ecosystem catalyzing AI innovation through strategic programs and partnerships across the public and private sectors. By democratizing computing access, improving data quality, developing indigenous AI capabilities, attracting top AI talent, enabling industry collaboration, providing startup risk capital, ensuring socially impactful AI projects and bolstering ethical AI, it will drive responsible, inclusive growth of India’s AI ecosystem.
  • The approved IndiaAI Mission will propel innovation and build domestic capacities to ensure the tech sovereignty of India. It will also create highly skilled employment opportunities to harness the demographic dividend of the country. IndiaAI Mission will help India demonstrate to the world how this transformative technology can be used for social good and enhance its global competitiveness. 

Cabinet approves Minimum Support Price  for Raw Jute for 2024-25 Season 
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for Raw Jute for 2024-25 season. The decision is based on recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). 

  • The MSP of Raw Jute (TDN-3 equivalent to earlier TD-5 grade) has been fixed at Rs.5,335/- per quintal for 2024-25 season.  This would ensure a return of 64.8 percent over the all India weighted average cost of production. 
  • The announced MSP of raw jute for 2024-25 season is in line with the principle of fixing the MSP at a level of at least 1.5 times all India weighted average cost of production as announced by the Government in the Budget  2018-19.

Cabinet approves Uttar  Poorva Transformative Industrialization Scheme, 2024
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the proposal of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade for Uttar Poorva Transformative Industrialization Scheme, 2024 (UNNATI – 2024) for a period of 10 years from the date of notification along with 8 years for committed liabilities at a total cost of Rs.10,037 crore.Cabinet approves Uttar  Poorva Transformative Industrialization Scheme, 2024

  • This will be a Central Sector Scheme. The scheme is proposed to be divided into two parts. Part, A caters to the incentives to the eligible units (Rs. 9737 crores), and Part B, is for implementation and institutional arrangements for the scheme. (Rs. 300 Crore).
  • The proposed scheme envisages approximately 2180 applications, and it is anticipated that direct employment opportunities of about 83,000 will be generated during the scheme period. A significant number of indirect employment is also expected to be generated.
  • DPIIT will implement the scheme in cooperation with the states. Implementation will be overseen by following committees at the national and state levels.

Cabinet approves continuation of Rs.300 targeted subsidy to PM Ujjwala Yojana Consumer
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the continuation of targeted subsidy of Rs.300 per 14.2 kg cylinder (and proportionately pro-rated for 5 kg cylinder) for up to 12 refills per year to be provided to the beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) during FY 2024-25.  As on 1st March, 2024 there are more than 10.27 crore PMUY beneficiaries.PM Ujjwala Yojana Consumer

  • The total expenditure will be Rs.12,000 crore for financial year 2024-25.  The subsidy is credited directly to bank accounts of the eligible beneficiaries.

Asian River Rafting Championships kick off in Shimla
Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu inaugurated the Asian River Rafting Championship from the Ridge and said the state government was committed to promote adventure tourism in the state.Asian River Rafting Championships kick off in Shimla

  • The championship is being organised on the Sutlej river, near Basantpur in Sunni tehsil in Shimla district from March 4 to 9. About 20 national and international teams from Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Iran, Iraq, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Indonesia are participating.
  • After flagging off the teams participating in the championship, the chief minister said that the state government was committed to promoting adventure tourism in Himachal and in this direction, a river rafting marathon was also organised at Nadaun in Hamirpur district recently.

Himachal Govt announces Indira Gandhi Pyari Behna Sukh Samman Nidhi Yojana 
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu announced that his government will give Rs 1,500 per month to women in the age group of 18 to 60 years from the the 2024-25 financial year, fulfilling one of the 10 ‘guarantees’ promised by the Congress ahead of the assembly polls.Himachal Govt announces Indira Gandhi Pyari Behna Sukh Samman Nidhi Yojana 

  • The CM said, adding his government had initiated the first phase of the scheme from February 1, providing Rs 1,500 to the women in Lahaul- Spiti district, and is now expanding it across state.
  • One of the highlights of the scheme is its focus on empowering young women. Chief Minister Sukhu emphasized that all girls above 18 years of age would receive ₹18,000 per annum under the initiative.
  • In addition to the women empowerment initiative, Chief Minister Sukhu highlighted the government’s efforts to restore the old pension scheme, benefiting 1.36 lakh state employees.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog and Meta join hands to establish Frontier Technology Labs in schools to democratize access to future technologies and innovation
In an effort to democratize future technologies and empower youth to innovate, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog and Meta have announced the launch of Frontier Technology Labs (FTLs). Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog and Meta join hands to establish Frontier Technology Labs in schools to democratize access to future technologies and innovation

  • Atal Innovation Mission and Meta will partner to set up FTLs in schools of strategic importance to ensure that students from diverse backgrounds across India will have equal opportunities to learn and engage with frontier technologies. Till date, AIM has established 10,000 Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) in schools across 722 districts in India. 
  • The objective of ATLs is to foster curiosity, creativity, and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, physical computing etc.

CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum signs MoU with UCOST to deploy the Pine Needles-based fuel-making technology in Champawat
The CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP) signed an agreement with the Uttarakhand State Council for Science and Technology (UCOST) to deploy pine needles-based fuel-making technology in the state’s Champawat district.CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum signs MoU with UCOST to deploy the Pine Needles-based fuel-making technology in Champawat

  • The selected technologies include a briquetting unit with a capacity of 50 kg per hour based on Pine Needles and 500 units of Improved Cookstoves for rural households. An extended field trial study will be conducted regarding energy conservation and its environmental impact.
  • The briquetting unit will be established in the Energy Park in Champawat as a part of the Women Empowerment initiative. The briquettes produced will be used as fuel in homes and local industries.

South Eastern Coalfield Limited’s Gevra  Mine Set to Become The Largest Coal Mine in Asia
Chhattisgarh-based Coal India subsidiary South Eastern Coalfield Limited’s Gevra mine is set to become the largest coal mine in Asia. The mine has been granted environmental clearance to expand production capacity to 70 million tons per annum from the current 52.5 million tons.South Eastern Coalfield Limited’s Gevra  Mine Set to Become The Largest Coal Mine in Asia

  • The development has been made possible with the rigorous efforts of the Ministry of Coal by coordinating with the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in achieving the environment clearance of 70 million tons in record time, keeping in mind the role of Gevra as one of the megaprojects of SECL, in meeting the energy needs of the nation.
  • Under the guidance of Ministry of Coal, a historic milestone has been achieved by Coal India team . It have a vision for Gevra to become the largest coal mine in the world with state-of-art mining operations and this is a significant milestone towards that journey.


SPORTS

Spain wins UEFA Women’s Nations League
Spain’s women’s team secured a historic victory over France, winning the first-ever UEFA Women’s Nations League with a convincing 2-0 triumph in Seville. Spain wins UEFA Women’s Nations League

  • The win represents a significant achievement for Spain in the realm of women’s football, further solidifying their position as a dominant force in the sport.
  • Spain’s victory marks a significant milestone as they secure their first-ever win over France in senior women’s football, underlining their growing stature in the sport. This historic triumph serves as a testament to Spain’s progress and development as a footballing nation, further cementing their place among the elite teams in the world.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 

Kerala introduces its first generative AI teacher ‘Iris’
Kerala, known for its strides in education, has taken another innovative step by introducing its first generative AI teacher, Iris. Developed in collaboration with Makerlabs Edutech Private Limited, Iris marks a significant advancement in the integration of artificial intelligence in education.Kerala introduces its first generative AI teacher ‘Iris’

  • Unveiled at KTCT Higher Secondary School in Thiruvananthapuram, Iris is a humanoid designed to enhance the learning experience for students.
  • Built under the Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) project initiated by NITI Aayog, Iris boasts a range of features aimed at revolutionising traditional teaching methods.
  • With the ability to speak three languages and tackle complex questions, Iris offers a personalised learning journey for each student. Its features include voice assistance, interactive learning modules, manipulation capabilities, and mobility, making it an invaluable asset in the classroom.

Indian Navy commissions first MH60R Seahawk chopper squadron
The first squadron of the Indian Navy’s newly inducted MH 60R Seahawk multi-role choppers is all set to be commissioned to the force in Kerala’s Kochi. The Navy said the commissioning would mark a “pivotal moment” in India’s defence modernisation journey.Indian Navy commissions first MH60R Seahawk chopper squadron

  • The helicopters will be commissioned in the INAS 334 squadron and are expected to improve the Navy’s operational capability in the Indian Ocean region, which has been witnessing increasing Chinese military forays.
  • Under the framework of foreign military sales, an agreement was signed with the US for the procurement of these helicopters in February 2020.
  • The induction of Seahawk choppers is believed to significantly enhance the maritime prowess of the force. The MH 60R helicopter would enhance India’s blue-water capabilities, extending the operational reach of the Navy and supporting sustained naval operations across spectrums and over vast maritime domains. 

IN-SPACe technical centre focussed on ‘satellites & payloads’ inaugurated in Ahmedabad
In order to provide the private sector with “unparalleled opportunities” to rigorously test and validate their space technologies, a first-of-its-kind technical centre built by Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) in Ahmedabad was inaugurated by Union minister of state for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh.IN-SPACe technical centre focussed on ‘satellites & payloads’ inaugurated in Ahmedabad

  • This centre is primarily focussed on satellites and payloads, while the simulation facility that we have is for launch vehicles and mission planning, Pawan Goenka, Chairman IN-SPACe said on the sidelines of the inauguration.
  • IN-SPACe is an autonomous nodal agency attached to the Department of Space, Government of India. This technical centre located at IN-SPACe’s headquarters at Bopal is meant to support space non-governmental entities in designing, development, simulation and testing of space technologies. 

 



BOOKS & AUTHORS

The first comprehensive book on Indian modern art “The Gems of Indian Art” launched
An impressive and beautiful book of nearly 300 pages documenting the late Harish Khullar’s collection of 20th century Indian modern and contemporary art was released at two events held in New Delhi during February 2024. The first comprehensive book on Indian modern art “The Gems of Indian Art” launched

  • This near-300-page book was unveiled by Ministers Shri Nitin Gadkari, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, and Shri S.P.S. Baghel, marking a pivotal moment in India’s art scene.
  • Harish Khullar’s collection, which the book documents, is celebrated internationally for its exceptional quality and prestigious provenance. It showcases the tireless efforts of the Khullar family, primarily built by Harish Khullar and later enhanced by his son Gaurav and grandson.
  • Their collection stands as a testament to a deep-rooted passion for Indian art, setting a precedent in a country where private art collections are a relatively new phenomenon.


 

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