Daily Current Affairs and GK | 11 January 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 18:05 PM IST

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Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

1. Indian passport ranked 80th in the Henley Passport Index 2024.

  • The Indian passport is in the 80th position in the Henley Passport Index 2024.
  • It will allow Indian citizens to travel to 62 countries without a visa.
  • India shares its rank with Uzbekistan. India’s neighboring country Pakistan is in the 101st position.
  • In 2023, India's passport was ranked at the 80th spot.
  • Japan and Singapore have continued to top the list for five years now.
  • South Korea, Sweden, and Finland are in the second position with access to 193 locations.
  • Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands are in third place with access to 192 countries without visas.
  • The United Arab Emirates climbed to 11th spot with visa-free access to 183 countries.
  • The least powerful passport in the world is Afghanistan. It has access to 28 countries.
  • Syria (103), Iraq (102), Pakistan (101) and Yemen (100) are among the least powerful passport countries.

Topic: International Appointments

2. Tshering Tobgay became Bhutan's PM for the second time.

  • Bhutanese voters have elected Tshering Tobgay to become Prime Minister for the second time.
  • Tshering Tobgay party has won nearly two-thirds of the seats in the election.
  • Mr. Tobgay was also the leader of the Opposition in Bhutan's first parliament when it was established in 2008.
  • He heads the liberal People's Democratic Party (PDP). He served as Prime Minister of Bhutan from 2013 to 2018.

Topic: Defence

3. MILAN 2024 exercise will be conducted by the Indian Navy at Visakhapatnam.

  • The 12th edition of the Indian Navy's multinational exercise MILAN will be held from 19 to 27 February.
  • Earlier, the 11th edition of the exercise was conducted at Visakhapatnam under the Eastern Naval Command on February-March 2022.
  • MILAN is a biennial multinational naval exercise that began in 1995 with the participation of four foreign countries (Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand) in line with India's 'Look East Policy'.
  • The MILAN exercise was held under the aegis of Andaman and Nicobar Command till its 10th edition.
  • Visakhapatnam has been selected as the preferred venue for future MILAN exercises.
  • The MILAN 24 exercise will consist of two phases– the 'Harbour Phase' and 'Sea Phase'.
  • The aim of the harbour phase is to promote cultural sharing amongst the participating Nations and the Sea phase includes ships with Maritime Patrol aircraft and submarines of Friendly Foreign Countries.
  • The MILAN is a demonstration of India’s commitment towards promoting maritime cooperation and security in the Indian Ocean region.
  • It is a platform for nations to build partnerships, exchange ideas and enhance maritime security to enhance sea power.

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

4. ICD 11 Module 2 (Morbidity Codes) has been launched by WHO in New Delhi on 10th January.

  • Data and terminology related to diseases based on Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani systems have now been included in WHO's International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 11 classification.
  • This effort brought global uniformity in ASU (Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha) medicine in the form of a code of terminology defining diseases.
  • WHO has developed a classification series called the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) to classify diseases at the international level.
  • Global data on diseases currently available is based primarily on healthcare practices diagnosed through modern biomedicine.
  • The Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI) is an agency under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare that serves as the WHO Collaborating Center for ICD-related activities.
  • It facilitates the collection and dissemination of data on various diseases and mortality.
  • The Ministry of AYUSH has already developed codes for Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani medicine through the National AYUSH Morbidity and Standardized Electronic Portal (NAMAST).
  • The Ministry of AYUSH in collaboration with WHO has prepared a classification of data and terminology related to diseases based on AYUSH–Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani systems under the TM2 module of the ICD11 series.
  • The Ministry of AYUSH has also signed a donor agreement with the World Health Organization for this classification.
  • This classification includes infectious diseases like malaria and lifestyle diseases like chronic insomnia.
  • This effort will further strengthen and expand India's public health service delivery system, research, AYUSH insurance coverage, research and development, and policy-making systems.
  • Moreover, these codes will also be used in formulating future strategies to control various diseases in society.

Topic: Important Days

5. National Human Trafficking Awareness Day 2024: 11 January

  • On January 11 every year, National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is observed.
  • The day aims to raise awareness about the condition of human trafficking victims, as well as to promote and protect their rights.
  • In 2007, January 11 was proclaimed National Human Trafficking Awareness Day by the United States Senate.
  • President Barack Obama had declared the entire month of January "National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month" in 2010 by Presidential Proclamation, and each president since has followed this tradition.
  • United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC):
    • It is a body of the United Nations. It is responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the world.
    • It has 47 members elected for a three-year term.
    • It was founded on 15 March 2006. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Topic: Corporates and Companies

6. 10% stake in the National Housing Board-promoted company will be acquired by LIC.

  • On January 8, the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) said its board has approved the acquisition of up to 10% of the share capital in a company promoted by the National Housing Bank (NHB).
  • The investment is to be made in one or more instalments and details about the company have not been disclosed.
  • LIC Housing Finance Limited is a LIC housing finance subsidiary, which was established in 1989.
  • The company went public in 1994 and since then, its stocks are listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange Limited (BSE).
  • National Housing Bank (NHB):
    • It is the apex regulatory body for the overall regulation and licensing of housing finance companies in India. It is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
    • It was established on 9 July 1988 under the National Housing Bank Act, 1987. It is headquartered in New Delhi.
    • The Finance Act, 2019 has amended the National Housing Bank Act, 1987.
    • This amendment provides powers to the Reserve Bank of India to regulate Housing Finance Companies (HFCs).
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Topic: Reports and Indices

7. According to the ILO report, the global unemployment rate will increase to 5.2% in 2024.

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) said that this increase is mainly because of growth in joblessness in advanced economies.
  • As per the forecast of ILO's 2024 'World Employment and Social Outlook' report, the number of unemployed people will increase by 2 million.
  • As a result, the global unemployment rate will increase to 5.2% from 5.1% in 2023.
  • According to the ILO, aggregate labour productivity growth has swiftly returned to the low pace observed over the preceding ten years, following a brief growth burst as countries recovered from the epidemic.
  • The scenario is more worrying in high-income nations, where employment growth is predicted to turn negative in 2024 and show only slight increases in 2025.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

8. DPIIT is organising the Startup India Innovation Week 2024 from 10 January 2024.

  • DPIIT is organising it to bring together India’s startups, entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, and other stakeholders.
  • Startup India Innovation Week 2024 is being organised from 10th January 2024 to 18th January 2024.
  • The result declaration ceremony for the States’ Startup Ranking and National Startup Awards 2023 will be held on 16th January 2024.
  • PM Modi launched the Startup India initiative on 16th January 2016.
  • It was launched to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation.
  • It was also launched to boost startups and encourage investments in the startup ecosystem of the country.
  • According to the Commerce and Industry Ministry, the number of recognized startups has grown to more than one lakh 17 thousand from about 400 startups in 2016.
  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is also partnering with the Department of Youth Affairs to promote the Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat) initiative.
  • Prime Minister Modi launched Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat) initiative on 31st October 2023.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

9. India will host UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee meeting from 21 to 31 July.

  • India will chair and host the UNESCO's World Heritage Committee meeting from 21 to 31 July.
  • This will be the first instance when a country is chairing and hosting the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee.
  • The main focus will be on global discussions on preserving cultural and historical heritage.
  • The World Heritage Committee decided that its 46th session will take place in India.
  • The Unesco's World Heritage Committee comprises 21 members.
  • It plays an important role in bringing new sites to the prestigious list of Unesco World Heritage Sites.
  • UNESCO is a specialized UN agency to promotes global peace and national security through collaborative efforts in education, arts, science, and culture.
  • It also highlights the importance of international cooperation in preserving cultural and natural treasures.

Topic: State News/ Chattisgarh

10. Chattisgarh government to launch Ramlala Darshan Scheme for Ayodhya Pilgrimage.

  • The Chhattisgarh government has decided to launch the 'Shri Ramlala Darshan scheme’.
  • This scheme will be implemented by the Chhattisgarh Tourism Board and the Budget Tourism Department.
  • Annually, around 20,000 pilgrims will be taken for the Shri Ramlala Darshan.
  • People aged between 18 to 75 will be eligible for availing benefits of this scheme. The health examination will be conducted by the district medical board.
  • Under this scheme, transportation will be facilitated in collaboration with the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

Topic: Awards and Prizes

11. 5 Lok Sabha MPs have been selected for the Sansad Ratna Awards.

  • Five Lok Sabha MPs, including Sukanta Majumdar of BJP and Shrikant Eknath Shinde of Shiv Sena, have been selected for the Sansad Ratna Awards, which were announced on 7 January.
  • BJP's Sudhir Gupta, NC's Amol Ramsing Kolhe, and Congress's Kuldeep Rai Sharma are the other three MPs selected for this award.
  • The awards will be presented at a function on 17 February.
  • The awards are based on comprehensive performance, with nominees selected by a jury committee headed by Minister of Law and Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal and former Chief Election Commissioner of India TS Krishnamurthy.
  • Sansad Ratna Awards are presented annually to top-performing MPs on the basis of performance.
  • The Sansad Maha Ratna Awards are presented once in five years for consistency in performance in the Lok Sabha.
  • The Sansad Ratna Awards were instituted on the suggestion of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam to recognize outstanding parliamentarians.
  • In 2010, the first edition of the award ceremony was hosted in Chennai.

Topic: Defence

12. India's first indigenously built UAV 'Drishti 10 Starliner' has been introduced.

  • On January 10, the Indigenously Drishti 10 Starliner unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufactured by Adani Defense and Aerospace was included in the Indian Navy.
  • The UAV began its journey from Hyderabad to Porbandar as it joined the naval maritime operations.
  • This is a significant opportunity and transformative step in India's pursuit of self-reliance in ISR technology and maritime dominance.
  • The integration of Drishti 10 into naval operations will enhance naval capabilities, strengthening our readiness for ever-evolving maritime surveillance and reconnaissance.
  • The Drishti 10 Starliner represents a state-of-the-art intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) platform.
  • It has an impressive endurance of 36 hours and a payload capacity of 450 kg and has the distinction of being the only all-weather military platform with STANAG 4671 certification.
  • Additionally, it is authorized for flight in both segregated and unsegregated airspace.
  • Drishti 10 'Starliner' is India's first indigenously developed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), based on Elbit's Hermes 900 MALE (Medium Altitude Long Range) platform.
  • It is equipped with multiple hard points and a 250 kg modular internal installation bay.

Topic: MoUs /Agreements

13. India and the UK signed a MoU for the bilateral international cadet exchange programme.

  • India and U.K signed a Letter of Arrangement (LoA) on defence collaboration in Research and Development.
  • The LoA on R&D was signed between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).
  • It was signed after the bilateral meeting held between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his British counterpart Grant Shapps in London.
  • Both leaders discussed a range of defence, security and cooperation matters with particular emphasis on enhancing defence-industrial collaboration.
  • It is the first visit by an Indian Defence Minister to the U.K. in the last two decades.
  • Shri Rajnath Singh was present at the ceremonial Guard of Honour at the Horse Guards Parade Ground before the bilateral meeting with his UK counterpart.

Topic: National News

14. IIT Madras will open its campus at Kandy in Sri Lanka.

  • IIT Madras has decided to open a new campus at Kandy in Sri Lanka.
  • Sri Lanka’s Education minister Dr. Susil Premajayantha made this announcement.
  • Before the new campus establishment, a team of academics would be sent by the Sri Lankan government to IIT Madras.
  • This is part of the Budget 2024 presented by Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremasinghe.
  • Earlier, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras formally launched its campus in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
  • Currently, around 50 students have been admitted to this institute.
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