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Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 9th March, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 9 March 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

India’s first driverless metro train to be introduced in Bengaluru
The Bangalore Metro Rail Transport Corporation (BMRCL) is all set to test the driverless train on a track and said it will soon be placed on a track for the test. The assembling works of this train which will run on the yellow line are already finished, which was done in the presence of Chinese engineers.

India’s first driverless metro train to be introduced in Bengaluru

  • This driverless train will be introduced on the Yellow Line, which is expected to begin by the end of this year or next year. In 2019, CRCC Nanjing Puzhen Co Ltd won the contract to supply 216 coaches to Bengaluru Metro Rail Transport Corporation Limited (BMRCL) and this prototype train. 
  • The train was assembled at Electronics City, and a team of Chinese engineers monitored the assembling activity.
  • This prototype train will conduct trial runs on the yellow line, which is set to connect RV road with Bommasandra via Silk Board.

Centre issues rules on exotic wild species held in captivity
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified rules related to possessing and breeding of exotic wild animals in captivity. These rules are framed under Section 49M of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.Centre issues rules on exotic wild species held in captivity

  • India lacked such regulations to keep check on keeping and breeding of highly endangered exotic wild animals. The issue came to limelight across the globe when the pandemic broke out when it was assumed that the Covid-19 was a ‘zoonotic disease’ which got spillover from China’s Wuhan wet market.
  • As per rules, persons possessing a living specimen of exotic animals species are required to apply for registrations within a period of six months from the date of commencement of these rules. Further, within 30 days of possessing such animal species to the concerned State Chief Wild Life Warden, through the PARIVESH 2.0 portal.

PM Modi lays foundation stone of “Experience of Spirituality at Chitrakoot Ghat” project in Chitrakoot
Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed Bhoomi Pujan and inaugurated projects worth 118 crore 72 lakh rupees in Madhya Pradesh through video conferencing. These include various projects in Gwalior and Chitrakoot under Swadesh Darshan 2.0 scheme and development work of Amarkantak and Pitambara Peeth Temple Datia under Prasad scheme.PM Modi lays foundation stone of “Experience of Spirituality at Chitrakoot Ghat” project in Chitrakoot

  • Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the “Experience of Spirituality at Chitrakoot Ghat” project in Chitrakoot. The Prime Minister performed the Bhoomi Pujan of the upgradation and development works of Ganga Ghats at a cost of about 26 crore 55 lakh rupees. 
  • The Prime Minister also inaugurated various development works worth 50 crore rupees under the Prasad Scheme in Amarkantak. Which includes development around Narmada Temple, and expansion of tourist and public facilities in Amarkantak.

Anurag Thakur inaugurates Sansad Khel Mahakumbh 3.0
Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh Thakur inaugurated Sansad Khel Mahakumbh 3.0 at Luhnu Cricket Stadium, Bilaspur, in his constituency Hamirpur. The Indian cricket team captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid graced the occasion as chief guests.Anurag Thakur inaugurates Sansad Khel Mahakumbh 3.0

  • The MP Khel Mahakumbh has become the biggest platform for players from the Hamirpur parliamentary constituency to showcase their talent.
  • After its two successful editions, Sansad Khel Mahakumbh 3.0 was inaugurated at the Luhnu Cricket Ground in Bilaspur.
  • In the first edition, 40,000 people participated, while the second edition saw 45,000 participants. The target for the third edition is the participation of 75,000 players.

Indian Armed Forces Conduct Mega Bharat-Shakti’ Exercise In Jaisalmer
India’s three armed forces, the Army, Navy, and Air Force, will conduct the greatest exercise known as ‘Bharat-Shakti’ at Asia’s largest field firing range in the Jaisalmer area of Rajasthan.Indian Armed Forces Conduct Mega Bharat-Shakti’ Exercise In Jaisalmer

  • During the exercise, the three Indian services will demonstrate the capabilities of indigenously made weaponry and systems. This drill will only include indigenous weapons created in India.
  • A plethora of made-in-India weapon systems, including the Pinaka Multi-barrel rocket launchers, Arjun tanks, Dhanush howitzers, Tejas fighter aircraft, and various versions of the ALH Dhruv choppers, will take center stage during the exercise.

WCD Ministry organises Poshan Pakhwada 2024 from 9th March to 23rd March
The Poshan Pakhwada – 2024 begun and run till March 23 with an aim to promote activities focused on nutrition, health and early childhood care.WCD Ministry organises Poshan Pakhwada 2024 from 9th March to 23rd March

  • According to a statement by the Union Women and Child Development Ministry, this year’s Poshan Pakhwada will revolve around three main themes — “Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi”, “Tribal, Traditional, Regional & Local Dietary Practices” and “Health of Pregnant Women & Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices”.
  • During the Pakhwada, mass sensitisation and community activities will be held around the themes including Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi, dietary practices focused on sensitisation around nutrition and health of pregnant women. 
  • In addition, states, Union Territories and partner ministries/departments will conduct sensitisation activities covering other vital areas such as improving nutrition through Mission LiFE, promoting sustainable food systems by advocating for millets and encouraging the adoption of healthy lifestyles through Ayush practices. 

Bichom becomes 27th district of Arunachal Pradesh
Bichom, carved out of West and East Kameng, became the 27th district of Arunachal Pradesh. A total of 27 villages from West Kameng and 28 from East Kameng were made part of Bichom district.Bichom becomes 27th district of Arunachal Pradesh

  • Chief Minister Pema Khandu inaugurated the district and laid the foundation of its headquarters at Napangphung. He also handed over responsibilities to Deputy Commissioner Akriti Sagar and Superintendent of Police Sudhanshu Dhama.
  • The Chief Minister said that infrastructure will be created for the new district headquarters and all assets transferred to Bichom district from East Kameng will be replaced with new ones.

Jharkhand Introduces India’s First Widow Remarriage Incentive Scheme
Jharkhand Chief Minister Champai Soren has introduced a groundbreaking program known as the ‘Vidhwa Punarvivah Protsahan Yojana’ (Widow Remarriage Incentive Scheme). This plan, India’s first, intends to help and encourage widows to begin on a new path of companionship by offering a Rs 2 lakh financial incentive to those who wish to remarry.Jharkhand Introduces India’s First Widow Remarriage Incentive Scheme

  • This scheme is seen as  empowering women who find themselves alone and helpless after the death of their life partners. By providing financial assistance and support, the scheme aims to help women who find themselves in a vulnerable position after the loss of their husbands.
  • Additionally, the Chief Minister announced an increase in the honorarium for Anganwadi workers, who will now receive Rs. 9,500 per month, while helpers will receive Rs. 4,750 per month. The first installment of old age pension was also transferred to the bank accounts of 1,58,218 people during the occasion.

Karnataka inks Deal with World Economic Forum to establish AI Centre
The Karnataka government has signed a pact with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to establish a Center for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the state. This initiative marks WEF’s sole AI-focused center in India.Karnataka inks Deal with World Economic Forum to establish AI Centre

  • The Karnataka center will integrate into WEF’s broader Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) Network, aimed at promoting inclusive technology governance and responsible digital evolution, according to the Department of IT-BT.
  • The envisioned center will serve as a crucial nexus for building industry-academia collaborations, facilitating the exchange of technological insights, promoting research partnerships, and actively engaging with global AI-related challenges. 

Uttar Pradesh government waives farmers’ power bills for private tube wells
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath announced a waiver of electricity bills for private tube wells of the farmers, effective from April 1, 2023.Uttar Pradesh government waives farmers’ power bills for private tube wells

  • There are about 14.73 lakh private tube wells in the rural areas and 5,188 in urban areas of the state. There are about 14.73 lakh private tube wells in the rural areas and 5,188 in urban areas of the state. 
  • Clearing a long-pending proposal in the Cabinet meeting, the government allocated ₹1,800 crore in the 2024-2025 budget for the implementation of the scheme.
  • Furthermore, the government has proposed a scheme aimed at assisting farmers with outstanding electricity bills predating April 1, 2023, to settle their bills without accruing interest and offering them convenient installment options.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Panama becomes 97th member of International Solar Alliance
Panama has officially ratified the International Solar Alliance (ISA), marking its entry as the 97th member nation. The information was divulged by Randhir Jaiswal, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs.Panama becomes 97th member of International Solar Alliance

  • Panama’s commitment to sustainable energy was underscored as Ambassador Yasiel Burillo presented the Instrument of Ratification to Joint Secretary (Economic Diplomacy) Abhishekifs during a meeting in New Delhi. 
  • This formal act solidifies Panama’s pledge to collaborate within the framework of the ISA, joining other nations in the pursuit of harnessing solar energy for a greener future.

Hong Kong issues new national security law bill with tougher jail terms
Hong Kong introduced the draft Bill of a new national security law that includes life sentences for major offences such as treason and insurrection. The “Safeguarding National Security Bill” was formally introduced at the city’s opposition-free legislature morning for vetting.Hong Kong issues new national security law bill with tougher jail terms

  • The homegrown legislation is set to become the city’s second national security law, following the one Beijing imposed in 2020 after quashing huge and sometimes violent democracy protests.
  • The bill lists five new categories of offences — treason, insurrection, espionage and theft of state secrets, sabotaging national security and external interference.

Sweden officially joins NATO alliance, ending decades of neutrality
Sweden formally joined NATO as the 32nd member of the transatlantic military alliance, ending decades of post-World War II neutrality as concerns about Russian aggression in Europe have spiked following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.Sweden officially joins NATO alliance, ending decades of neutrality

  • Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson handed over the final documentation to the US government, the last step in a drawn-out process to secure the backing of all members to join the military alliance.


BANKING & FINANCE

Infibeam Avenues gets RBI’s authorisation for payment aggregator licence
India’s first listed AI-powered fintech company, Infibeam Avenues, received the final authorisation from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to operate as a payment aggregator for its payment gateway brand, CCAvenue.Infibeam Avenues gets RBI's authorisation for payment aggregator licence

  • The company announced in a press release that it received final authorisation from the RBI on March 4 to operate as a payment aggregator (PA), following the in-principle approval granted in October 2022.

Indian consulate in Dubai launches new insurance package for blue-collar workers
A new life insurance plan for blue-collar Indian workers has come into effect in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 1 March. The Indian Consulate in Dubai announced the Life Protection Plan (LPP) which is aimed at providing financial support to the kin of deceased workers. The scheme will benefit lakhs of Indian workers employed in the UAE.Indian consulate in Dubai launches new insurance package for blue-collar workers

  • The Life Protection Plan can be availed at annual premiums ranging from Dh37 (approximately Rs 834) to Dh72 (about Rs 1,623) for people aged 18 to 70 years. 
  • If a worker dies due to an accident or natural causes, beneficiaries will get compensation of up to Dh75,000 (approx Rs 16,90,922), depending on the selected premium.
  • The initiative also offers a Dh12,000 (about Rs 2,70,547) coverage for the repatriation of the insured employee’s body. The insurance package also covers permanent complete or partial disability due to accident.

NPCI ties up with Nepal’s Fonepay for cross-border merchant payments
NPCI International Payments (NIPL), the international arm of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has entered into an agreement with Nepal-based payment network Fonepay Payment Service, for cross-border UPI transactions between India and Nepal.NPCI ties up with Nepal’s Fonepay for cross-border merchant payments

  • The arrangement will facilitate QR-code-based, person-to-merchant (P2M) UPI transactions between the two countries. In the first phase, Indian consumers will be able to make instant, secure and convenient UPI payments across various business stores in Nepal to merchants on the Fonepay Network.
  • The agreement with Nepal comes a week after NPCI International signed an MoU with Greece-based Eurobank S.A. to streamline cross-border payments between Greece to India using UPI rails. 
  • The agreement will enable Foreign Inward Remittance transactions from Greece to India and will help manage fund settlement, reconciliation and dispute resolutions in the respective jurisdictions.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Accenture launches learning platform; to acquire edtech Udacity
Accenture has launched a new artificial intelligence (AI)-native learning platform to provide clients with comprehensive technology learning and training services that will help them reskill and upskill employees in technology, data and AI.Accenture launches learning platform; to acquire edtech Udacity

  • Accenture will invest $1 billion in LearnVantage over three years and will acquire edtech company Udacity to build on Accenture’s existing experience in learning and training to meet the rising demand for technology skills, including generative AI.
  • With the help of an AI recommendation engine, the LearnVantage platform curates the “best learning content” from Accenture and third-party providers to offer a personalised learning journey that aligns with priority areas of learning.

Goa-based airline FLY91 gets DGCA’s air operator permit
Goa-based regional airline FLY91 has received the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from regulator DGCA, the company said via a statement. With this, the regional airline carrier aims to enhance connectivity across India’s tier 2 and tier 3 towns. Goa-based airline FLY91 gets DGCA’s air operator permit

  • FLY91 received its first ATR 72-600, one of the two aircraft leased from Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, last week.
  • The airline has already been allocated its first set of routes under the government’s regional air connectivity scheme UDAN. 

Indian Oil becomes the first Indian firm to produce fuel for Formula 1 cars 
Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is all set to begin the production of fuel for Formula 1 (F1) cars in three months, marking the entry of Indian oil companies into F1 championships. Indian Oil becomes the first Indian firm to produce fuel for Formula 1 cars 

  • The fuel will be produced for F1 cars at the Paradip refinery in Odisha, which is known for its advanced technology and strategic location. The announcement was made by the Chairman of IOCL, Shrikant Madhav Vaidya.
  • This collaboration entails Indian Oil providing FIM category 2 race fuel, “STORM-Ultimate Racing Fuel,” across all Asia Road Racing Championship rounds.  The fuel will be provided by the company for all motorcyclists from 15 countries that will participate in the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship.

Real GDP growth to moderate to 7% and 6.8% in FY25 and FY26, respectively: UBS
The growth momentum of the first three quarters of FY24 is expected to continue as cyclical recovery and structural improvements remain in play, UBS said in a report. From 7.6 per cent y-o-y growth in FY24E, it expect real GDP growth to moderate to 7 per cent and 6.8 per cent in FY25 and FY26 respectively. Real GDP growth to moderate to 7% and 6.8% in FY25 and FY26, respectively: UBS

  • The current global conditions may cause growth to moderate. Even after factoring in any slowdown, we believe India could still deliver 7 per cent growth in FY2025. 
  • The analyst noted that India’s GDP growth has been positively surprising , averaging above 8 per cent in the first three quarters of FY2024.
  • Sector-wise, some moderation is expected in investment-led growth due to lower public capex, while a gradual recovery is seen in consumption growth driven by a recovery in rural growth on expectations of a normal monsoon (as projected by IMD).

NIGEL and GUVNL ink PPA for 600 MW solar project in Gujarat 
NLC India Green Energy Limited (NIGEL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) NLC India Ltd (NLCIL), has signed a power purchase agreement with Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) for the supply of 600 MW of power from the Khavda Solar Park in Bhuj district in Gujarat.NIGEL and GUVNL ink PPA for 600 MW solar project in Gujarat 

  • This project is located in the Khavda Solar Park in Bhuj district of Gujarat. The agreement specifies a PPA tariff of Rs 2.705 per kWh, with the project expected to generate an annual electricity output of 1,577.88 million units (MU), reaching up to a cumulative 39.447 billion units (BU) over its lifetime. 
  • This initiative is estimated to offset about 35.5 million tonne of CO2 emissions, which in turn will contribute to India’s environmental sustainability goals.
  • The solar park has all readily available necessary infrastructure and also offers payment security for the power sold.  The proposed 600 MW solar power project in Khavda will be the single largest solar project developed by NLCIL, as on date.


APPOINTMENTS

SAP appoints Manish Prasad as President, MD for Indian Subcontinent
German technology major SAP has appointed Manish Prasad as president and managing director for SAP Indian Subcontinent. He succeeds Kulmeet Bawa, who takes on a global role to drive the growth and adoption of the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) for global customers.SAP appoints Manish Prasad as President, MD for Indian Subcontinent

  • In his new role, Prasad will help advance SAP’s move to the cloud, enabling customers across all industries to digitally transform with SAP.
  • Prasad will be based in Bengaluru and report to Paul Marriott, president of SAP Asia Pacific Japan.


AWARDS

Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar, British Indian chef Asma Khan win India-UK Achievers Honours
Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar and British Indian chef Asma Khan were among the winners of the annual India-UK Achievers Honours in London, which recognises the achievements of Indian students and alumni who have pursued an international programme of study.Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar, British Indian chef Asma Khan win India-UK Achievers Honours

  • The initiative, by the National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU) UK in partnership with the British Council in India and the UK government’s Department for Business and Trade, was launched last year with the aim of celebrating bilateral educational ties.
  • Zoya Akhtar was honored with the Living Legend Award for her work in furthering the understanding of India. Zoya Akhtar, acclaimed for box-office successes such as ‘Luck By Chance’ and ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’, as well as her recent work ‘The Archies’, receives praise.
  • Also recognised in the field of Arts, Culture and Entertainment this year was UK-based chef Asma Khan, behind the women-led Darjeeling Express restaurant in London. 


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 

After Chandrayaan-3 success, ISRO to launch Chandrayaan-4 in 2 phases
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up to launch its next lunar mission Chandrayaan-4 after the resounding success of Chandrayaan-3. This mission will consist of five spacecraft modules, ISRO chief S Somanath said at the National Space Science Symposium. After Chandrayaan-3 success, ISRO to launch Chandrayaan-4 in 2 phases

  • Chandrayaan-3, on the other hand, had three main components- lander, rover and the propulsion module. The five spacecraft modules to be used in Chandrayaan-4 are propulsion module, descender module, ascender module, tranfer module, and re-entry module. 
  • The five components of the awaited Chandrayaan-4 lunar mission will be launched in two phases, according to Somanath. In the first phase, the LVM-3 will launch propulsion, descender, and ascender modules, similar to the Chandrayaan-3 mission in 2023. 
  • In the second phase, the tranfer and re-entry modules will be launched aboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). This will be the first mission involving two launch vehicles to complete a single mission. 

DST, T-Hub launch AI-ML hub in Hyderabad
The Department of Science and Technology (DST), which works under the Union Ministry of Science and Technology, and start-up ecosystem enabler T-Hub have joined hands to to set up a Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Technology Hub (MATH) in Hyderabad. DST, T-Hub launch AI-ML hub in Hyderabad

  • The hub will work to foster AI innovation, create job opportunities, and provide a conducive ecosystem for AI and ML start-ups. The Centre of Excellence aims to generate over 500 AI-related jobs by 2025 and nurture more than 150 start-ups annually. 
  • The facility houses a mini data centre with GPU capabilities, a learning management system (LMS) tailored for AI education, and data infrastructure to support diverse AI applications.


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