Daily Current Affairs and GK | 1 March 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 01 Mar 2024 17:11 PM IST

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Topic: National News

1. Two factions of the Muslim Conference in Jammu & Kashmir have been declared unlawful associations.

  • This decision has been taken by the government under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
  • It will come into immediate effect and will last for five years.
  • The government blamed the Muslim Conference Jammu & Kashmir (Sumji faction) is engaging in activities detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of India.
  • This faction actively supported terrorist activities to separate Jammu and Kashmir from the Indian Union.
  • Numerous criminal cases have been registered against the Sumji faction and its members.
  • The Muslim Conference Jammu & Kashmir (Bhat faction) was involved in promoting, aiding, and abetting secessionist movements in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Bhat faction and its members have faced multiple criminal charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, of 1967.
  • Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act:
    • Its main aim is to prevent unlawful activities and associations in India.
    • It was last amended in 2019 as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019.
    • It is also known as the "Anti-terror law".

Topic: Awards and Prizes

2. King Charles III of the United Kingdom has bestowed an Honorary Knighthood upon Sunil Bharti Mittal.

  • Sunil Bharti Mittal has become the first Indian citizen to receive the award.
  • Mr. Mittal has received the title of Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire as a result of the award.
  • His achievements to developing closer business relations between India and the UK are recognised by this award.
  • An honorary Knighthood is one of the greatest honors bestowed upon civilians by the British Sovereign.
  • Foreign nationals receive it as a token of appreciation for their outstanding accomplishments.
  • Sunil Bharti Mittal is founder and chairman of the Bharti Enterprises.

Topic: Important Days

3. Zero Discrimination Day: 01 March

  • Every year on March 1, people celebrate Zero Discrimination Day.
  • The purpose of Zero Discrimination Day is to raise awareness of tolerance, equality, and inclusivity worldwide.
  • The first Zero Discrimination Day celebration took place on March 1, 2014.
  • The theme for this year’s Zero Discrimination Day is “To protect everyone's health, protect everyone's rights”.
  • UNAIDS introduced the Zero Discrimination Campaign on 'World AIDS Day' in December 2013.
  • UNAIDS is a collaborative initiative of the United Nations focused on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

Topic: Indian Economy

4. In January 2024, the growth rate of eight core industries fell to 3.6%, a 15-month low.  

  • Coal, steel, cement, electricity, natural gas, and crude oil production all saw increases in January 2024.
  • The growth rate of the steel sector decreased to 7% in January 2024 from 14.3% in January 2023. 
  • Similarly, the growth rate in the electricity sector decreased from 12.7% in January 2023 to 5.2% in January 2024.
  • In January 2024, the coal industry experienced an increase of 10.2% year over year.
  • Following a -1.1% contraction in January 2023, the crude oil sector expanded by 0.7% in January 2024.
  • The natural gas sector experienced growth from 5.2% growth in January 2023 to 5.5% growth in January 2024.
  • The growth of refinery products decreased by 4.3% in January. It expanded by 4.5% in January 2023.
  • In January 2024, the fertilisers industry experienced a contraction of 0.6%.     
  • Eight core industries are cement, coal, crude oil, electricity, fertilizers, natural gas, refinery products and steel.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

5. “Coal Logistics Plan and Policy” initiative launched by Union Minister Pralhad Joshi.

  • On 29th February, this initiative was launched during the Indian National Committee World Mining Congress under the patronage of the Ministry of Coal in New Delhi.
  • Shri Pralhad Joshi underlined the imperative need for efficient logistics to meet the energy demand projected to increase from 980 MT to 1.5 BT by 2030.
  • The Coal Logistics Plan proposes a strategic shift towards a railway-based system in FMC projects, aiming at a 14% reduction in rail logistics costs and annual cost savings of Rs 21,000 crore.
  • This transformative approach is expected to reduce air pollution, ease traffic congestion, and reduce carbon emissions by approximately 100,000 tonnes per year.
  • Additionally, a savings of 10% is expected in the average turnaround time of wagons across the country.
  • In addition, 37 important railway projects have been identified to meet the future coal evacuation demand in line with PM Gati Shakti.

Topic: Sports

6. On 29 February 2024, the 4th Khelo India University Games (KIUG) 2023 concluded in Guwahati.

  • It started on 17th February and Assam Sports Minister Mrs. Nandita Gorlosa officially declared the closing ceremony at Sarusajai Sports Complex in Guwahati.
  • Chandigarh University won the KIUG crown for the first time with a total of 71 medals, including 32 gold, 18 silver, and 21 bronze.
  • Chandigarh University boxers won five gold, one silver, and four bronze medals on the last day of the competition.
  • Lovely Professional University stood second with 20 gold, 14 silver, and eight bronze.
  • Guru Nanak Dev University finished third with 12 gold, 20 silver, and 19 bronze.
  • Defending champion Punjab University finished fourth with 12 gold, 12 silver and 16 bronze.
  • Jain University, the champion of the second edition, finished fifth with a total of 12 gold, 7 silver and 6 bronze medals.
  • More than 200 universities participated in this inter-university sports event.
  • Launched in 2016, the Khelo India University Games is a part of the Indian government’s Khelo India initiative.

Khelo India

(Source: News on AIR)

Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
January Monthly Current Affairs 2024 December Monthly Current Affairs 2023
November Monthly Current Affairs 2023 October Monthly Current Affairs 2023

Topic: Indian Economy

7. India’s GDP growth increased to 8.4% in the third quarter of Financial Year 2024.

  • India's GDP grew by 4.3% during the same time period of the previous year.
  • In Q2 of Financial Year 2024, the GDP expanded by 7.6%.
  • The GDP is estimated at Rs 43.72 lakh crore in Q3 of 2023–24 at constant (2011–12) prices.
  • In Q3 of 2022–2023, it was valued at Rs 40.35 lakh crore.
  • In the Financial Year 2024, the construction sector experienced double-digit growth of 10.7%.
  • The manufacturing sector has grown at a rate of 8.5%, after the construction sector.
  • In the Financial Year 2024, there was a 7.6% growth in the real GDP.
  • For the third year in a row, growth has been 7% or above.
  • Strong manufacturing and robust services sector growth in Q3 of Financial Year 2024 is one of the causes of the high GDP growth in Financial Year 2024.
  • Private consumption has provided steady support to GDP growth.

Topic: International News

8. PM Modi and the Prime Minister of Mauritius jointly inaugurated the developmental projects at Agaleaga Island in Mauritius.

  • The inaugurated projects include the new Airstrip and Saint James Jetty along with six community development projects.
  • These facilities will boost the socio-economic development of Agalega Island.
  • India has launched a number of infrastructure projects, such as the construction of a sports complex, a metro line, social housing, a community development project, an ENT hospital, and a Civil Service College.
  • PM Modi said that as members of the Global South, India and Mauritius have shared priorities.
  • The announcement of the development projects was hailed as historic by Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth of Mauritius.
  • India–Mauritius relations:
    • Diplomatic ties between Mauritius and India were established in 1948.
    • Indian descent makes up more than 68% of the population of Mauritius.
    • India and Mauritius have been connected since the 1730s.
    • Since 2007, India has emerged as Mauritius's main import supplier.
    • For more than a decade, Mauritius remained the top source of foreign direct investment into India.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

9. Union Cabinet approved ₹75,021-crore package for the PM-Surya Ghar: Muft Bijli Yojana.

  • PM-Surya Ghar: Muft Bijli Yojana” (PM Free Electricity scheme) will promote rooftop solar (RTS) installations in India.
  • Under this scheme, 300 units of “free electricity” will be provided to 1 crore households.
  • The government will bear 60% of the cost of installing 2 kW (kilowatt) systems and 40% of the cost of systems with a 2-3 kW capacity.
  • The government will provide ₹30,000 subsidy for 1 kW systems, ₹60,000 for 2 kW systems and ₹78,000 for 3 kW systems or higher.
  • The households will have to apply for subsidies through a central portal. The national portal will also provide relevant information such as appropriate system sizes, benefits calculators, vendor ratings, etc.
  • Households will also get a collateral-free loan of around 7% at present for installation of the residential RTS systems up to 3 kW.
  • The solar electrification scheme will depend on solar panels and systems made in India.
  • Urban Local Bodies and Panchayati Raj Institutions will also benefit from incentives for promoting RTS installations in their areas.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

10. ZSI names a newly discovered species of head-shield Sea slung after Droupadi Murmu.

  • Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) scientists have discovered a new species of head-shield sea slug from the Bay of Bengal.
  • This new species discovered from the Udaipur and Digha coast of Odisha and West Bengal has been named 'Melanochlamys Droupadi'.
  • This species is a small invertebrate with a maximum length of up to 7 mm. It is brownish-black with a ruby-red spot in the hind end.
  • The distribution of this species was presently recorded from a 3-km stretch of the Digha-Udaipur coast.
  • As per the study, it is the second such species discovered in India. This research paper was published in the leading molluscan journal, Mollusca Research.

Topic: MoUs and Agreements

11. An agreement was signed between NTPC Green Energy JV with MAHAGENCO.

  • A Joint Venture Agreement has been signed between NTPC Green Energy (NGEL), a wholly owned subsidiary of NTPC, and Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (MAHAGENCO).
  • It has been signed for the development of Renewable Energy Parks in the state of Maharashtra.
  • Under the joint venture, the company to be set up will develop GW-scale renewable energy parks and launch projects of this scale in a phased manner.
  • This agreement is in line with NTPC's green energy objectives and is another step in the Government of India's efforts towards the energy transition.
  • On 28 February, the Director (Projects), MAHAGENCO, Abhay Harne, and CGM (NGEL), V V Sivakumar signed the Joint Venture Agreement at NTPC headquarters in New Delhi.
  • NTPC Group has ambitious plans to achieve 60 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2032.
  • Currently, it has an installed renewable energy capacity of 3.4 GW with over 22 GW in the pipeline.
  • NTPC is committed to supporting the decarbonization goals of Maharashtra and India.
  • MAHAGENCO has an installed capacity of approximately 13,170 MW, which includes 9,540 MW thermal, 2,580 MW hydro, 672 MW gas, and 378 MW solar-based power plant capacity.

Topic: Important Days

12. Rare Disease Day 2024: 28 February

  • Every year on the last day of February, Rare Disease Day is observed. Generally, Rare Disease Day is celebrated on February 28 Every year.
  • However, 2024 is a leap year, so Rare Disease Day was observed on February 29.
  • In 2008, EURORDIS, together with the National Alliance Council, proclaimed 29 February as Rare Disease Day.
  • In the first year of the celebration, Rare Disease Day saw participation from eighteen countries in Europe.
  • Since then, every year on the last day of February, Rare Disease Day is celebrated.
  • According to the official website of the National Organization for Rare Diseases, “One in 10 Americans is living with a rare disease.
  • More than 300 million people worldwide suffer from rare diseases.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

13. In the last four years, the Leopard number has increased by more than 1,000.

  • The "Status of Leopards in India" report has been released by Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav.
  • From 2018 to 2022, the number of leopards in India has increased by more than 1,000.
  • The number of leopards in the country has now reached 13874, it was 12852 in 2018.
  • The highest population of leopards has been recorded in Madhya Pradesh (3907).
  • Maharashtra's leopard count has increased from 1,690 in 2018 to 1985 in 2022, Karnataka from 1,783 to 1,879, and Tamil Nadu from 868 to 1070.
  • The Shivalik hills and the Indo-Gangetic Plains experienced a decline in leopards from 1253 in 2018 to 1109 in 2022.
  • The Shivalik hills and the Gangetic plains showed a 3.4% decline per annum.
  • Non-forested habitats, arid, and high Himalayas above 2000 msl (~ 30% area) were not sampled for leopards.
  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority and Wildlife Institute of India in collaboration with State Forest Departments has released fifth cycle leopard population estimation.
  • This report will play a critical role in conserving leopard populations. The leopard is one of the five extant species in the genus Panthera.

Topic: Committees/Commissions/Taskforces

14. Finance Secretary TV Somanathan will lead committee on uniform Know Your Customer (KYC).

  • The committee will recommend ways to enforce uniform KYC mechanism.
  • Members from different ministries and regulators will be included in the committee.
  • Finance Stability and Development Council (FSDC) had decided to prepare a strategy to digitalise and simplify the KYC process in the financial sector.
  • The committee was formed after this decision of FSDC.
  • In 2023-24 budget, FM Sitharaman had said that the KYC process would be simplified.
  • She said it would be simplified through a ‘risk-based’ approach instead of ‘one size fits all’ approach.
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