Daily Current Affairs and GK | 12 March 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 12 Mar 2024 16:47 PM IST

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Topic: Indian Polity

1. Central government has implemented Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

  • It has notified the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024.
  • It makes minorities belonging to six communities persecuted on religious grounds in three countries eligible for Indian citizenship.
  • The six communities are Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian.
  • The three countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
  • CAA grants Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from the three countries who arrived in India up until December 31, 2014.
  • President had given assent to the Citizenship Amendment Act on 12th December 2019.
  • According to Home Ministry, the applications for citizenship will be submitted in online mode. A web portal has been provided for this purpose.
  • Through registration or naturalization, non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan are granted Indian citizenship by the Citizenship Act of 1955 in nine states.
  • These states are Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Maharashtra.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

2. UGC has launched She Research Network in India (SheRNI).

  • SheRNI is a platform launched by the UGC-INFLIBNET (Information and Library Network). It is an expert profile network system.
  • It has been launched to connect and support women scientists and faculty members.
  • It connects them to build a strong professional network with opportunities for mentorship, collaboration and professional achievement.
  • It has 81,818 profiles of Indian women in science and research.
  • It also has information of 11,543 patents and 6,75,313 publications.
  • It aims to make sure that women scientists are represented equally across various research domains.

Topic: National Appointments

3. AS Rajeev has been appointed as the Vigilance Commissioner.

  • President Droupadi Murmu appointed AS Rajeev as Vigilance Commissioner in the Central Vigilance Commission on March 11, 2024.
  • He has been appointed under the power vested under Section 4(1) of the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003.
  • The tenure of the Vigilance Commissioner is four years or until the attainment of the age of 65.
  • He has 38 years of experience of working in four banks, namely, Syndicate Bank, Indian Bank, Vijaya Bank, and Bank of Maharashtra.
  • For the last five years, he has served as MD & CEO of the Bank of Maharashtra.
  • He also served as nominee director at EXIM Bank, New India Assurance Co. Ltd., and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
  • Central Vigilance Commission (CVC):
    • It is an apex anti-corruption government body in India.
    • It was established on the recommendation of the K. Santhanam Committee.
    • It was established on February 11, 1964, by a resolution of the Government of India and was granted statutory status in 2003 under the Central Vigilance Commission Act 2003.

Topic: Indian Economy

4. Asia's first certified green municipal bond has been issued by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation.

  • Vadodara Municipal Corporation has raised 1 billion rupees ($12.07 million) by issuing Asia's first certified green municipal bond.
  • It has set a semi-annual coupon of 7.90% on the issue.
  • It will be used to build and enhance liquid wastewater management infrastructure across the city.
  • India Ratings has rated the bond as AA+ and received a green security certificate from the Climate Bond Initiative.
  • SBI Capital Markets and Tipsons Consultancy Services have arranged the bond issuance.
  • The Vadodara civic body last issued a bond in 2022 and raised 1 billion rupees via bonds maturing in five years.

Topic: International News

5. A Novel Insurance Scheme has been launched for Indian Workers in the UAE.

  • A Life Protection Plan (LPP) has been launched to provide financial security to Indian blue-collar workers in the UAE with coverage of natural deaths.
  • It is specifically designed for Indian workers, especially blue-collar workers.
  • Around 3.5 million Indians reside in the UAE, around 65 per cent of whom are blue-collar workers.
  • This insurance includes 24-hour global coverage, and death benefits for both natural and accidental causes. Compensation for total or partial disability resulting from accidents will be also covered under this insurance package.
  • The plan covers repatriation expenses of up to AED 12,000 per person.
  • If a worker dies due to either an accident or natural causes, beneficiaries will be eligible to receive compensation ranging from Dh35,000 to Dh75,000.
  • This insurance package offers various sum-assured options with minimal premiums starting at AED 37 per annum.
  • In the year 2022, the consulate in Dubai registered a total of 1,750 death cases, of which approximately 1,100 were workers.

Topic: Space and IT

6. Ashwini Vaishnaw launched India's fastest router with 2.4 tbps capacity.

  • India's fastest and indigenously designed IP/MPLS router has been launched by Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in Bengaluru.
  • This router was developed by the collaboration of the government's Department of Telecom, CDOT, and Nivetti.
  • The indigenously developed router will give a major boost to the Prime Minister's vision of Digital India.
  • It has a speed of 2.4 Mbps and will be helpful in the growth of several sectors, including railway communication networks, power grids, telecommunications, and television media.
  • Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a routing technique used in telecommunications networks that directs data from one node to the next.
  • The MPLS technique was first developed in the 1990s. Its main aim is to speed up network connections by sending packets along predetermined network paths.

Topic: Defence

7. Mission Divyastra successfully conducted by the DRDO on 11 March.

  • The first successful flight test of the indigenously developed Agni-5 missile equipped with Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology conducted by the DRDO.
  • This flight test named ‘Mission Divyastra’ conducted from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha.
  • This will ensure that a single missile can deploy multiple warheads at different locations.
  • After the launch of Mission Divyastra, India has joined the select group of countries that have MIRV capability.
  • Equipped with indigenous Avionics systems and high-accuracy sensor packages, this system ensures that the re-entry vehicles reach the target points within the desired accuracy.
  • Agni-5 can carry nuclear warheads and hit targets more than 5,000 km away. It uses a three-stage solid-fuelled engine.
  • Since 2012, Agni-5 has been successfully tested several times.
  • Since the early 1990s, The Agni family of missiles has been in the arsenal of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • Agni 1 to 4 missiles have a range of 700 km to 3,500 km and have already been deployed.
  • In December 2022, the night capabilities of Agni-5 were also tested by DRDO.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

8. National Curriculum for Early Childhood Care and Education launched by WCD Ministry.

  • A National Curriculum for Early Childhood Care and Education 2024 for children aged 3 to 6 years and a National Framework for Children up to 3 years of age released by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • The National Curriculum for ECCE 2024 covers all the development areas as per the National Curriculum Framework for the Foundational Stage 2022.
  • Under this, the National Curriculum includes all the areas of physical/motor, cognitive, language and literacy, socio-emotional, cultural/aesthetic as well as positive habits.
  • It aims to improve the quality of child development and education in Anganwadi centers by prioritizing competency-based lesson plans and activities.
  • The curriculum has been designed to fit into a weekly calendar.
  • It consists of 36 weeks of active learning, eight weeks of reinforcement, and four weeks of induction as well as 5+1 days of play-based learning a week and three blocks of activities a day.
  • It offers a combination of activities, including in-center and at-home, indoor and outdoor, child-led and teacher-led activities.
  • With the support of an Internal Committee and development partners, the National Institute for Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD) has prepared the documents.
  • Provisions for both curriculum and format will also be included on the nutrition tracker, including weekly activity schedules, home visit guidance, assessment tools to track child development, etc.

Topic: Indian Polity

9. On 9 March, Election Commissioner Arun Goel resigned.

  • He resigned just days before the expected announcement of the schedule for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
  • Shri Goyal's resignation was immediately accepted officially by President Draupadi Murmu.
  • There was already one vacancy in the three-member Election Commission of India and now, only Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar is left in the election panel.
  • In November 2022, Mr Goel had joined the Election Commission.
  • CEC is selected by a search committee, chaired by the Law Minister and including two Union Secretaries, which shortlists five names.
  • Thereafter, a selection committee chaired by the Prime Minister, consisting of a Union Cabinet Minister nominated by the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, or the leader of the largest opposition party, selects the final candidate.
  • Subsequently, the President formally appoints the elected CEC or EC.

Topic: Agriculture and Allied Sector

10. Agriculture Integrated Command and Control Center set up at Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi inaugurated by Union Minister Arjun Munda.

  • Its objective is to empower the farmers of the country by equipping them with information, services, and facilities using digital technology.
  • On this occasion, Shri Munda described it as an innovation of the government towards making the farmers across the country self-reliant.
  • He said that the government wants with full transparency, commitment, and a goal that even the common farmer living in the village can make himself self-reliant in terms of technology.
  • The new initiative aims to provide information to farmers about the farm reality and also find out what the real challenges the agriculture sector is facing.
  • Their problems can be solved by the availability of real-time data and its analysis and will also be able to take advantage of government schemes.
Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
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Topic: State News/ Uttar Pradesh

11. “Mukhyamantri Yuva Udyami Vikas Abhiyan (MYUVA)" scheme launched by CM Yogi to empower youth entrepreneurs in Uttar Pradesh.

  • Its objective is to nurture entrepreneurship among the youth of the state.
  • The schemes aim to prepare one lakh young entrepreneurs every year by providing interest-free loans for projects of up to Rs 5 lakh.
  • To support this initiative, the government has allocated Rs 1,000 crore in the budget for the financial year 2024-25.
  • This innovative scheme is designed to empower educated and skilled youth across the state, provide self-employment opportunities and promote the establishment of new MSMEs.
  • Under the scheme, interest-free loans will be provided to projects in the industry and service sectors.
  • The goal is to directly benefit one million units (10 lakh units) by funding 1,00,000 units annually over the next 10 years.
  • On successful repayment of the first loan, units will be eligible for the second phase of financing, where an overall loan of up to double the initial amount or Rs 7.50 lakh can be provided.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

12. Japanese housing pioneer Riken Yamamoto won Pritzker Prize 2024.

  • On March 5, Riken Yamamoto was named as the winner of the ninth Pritzker Prize often referred to as the "Nobel Prize of Architecture".
  • In the 45-year history of the Pritzker Prize, no country has won this award more than Japan.
  • Yamamoto is best known for innovative housing projects and educational institutions. He has been awarded $100,000 and a bronze medal.
  • In 2023, David Chipperfield won the Pritzker Prize.
  • In 1979, American architect Philip Johnson won the first Pritzker Prize.
  • Pritzker Prize:
    • It is an international architecture award that is awarded annually to "honor a living architect or architects whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment."
    • In 1979, Jay A. Pritzker and his wife Cindy Founded this award.
    • The prize is funded by the Pritzker family and sponsored by the Hyatt Foundation.

Topic: State News/ Chhattisgarh

13. ‘Mahtari Vandana Yojana’ has been launched by PM Modi in Chhattisgarh.

  • Mahtari Vandana Yojana’s scheme is a financial assistance scheme for married women.
  • Under this scheme, ₹1,000 per month is given to eligible married women in Chhattisgarh.
  • As the first payment installment under the scheme, ₹655 crore was transferred.
  • The scheme will provide benefits to all eligible married women of the state who are above 21 years of age as of January 1, 2024.
  • Widows, divorced, and deserted women will also be eligible for this scheme. About 70 lakh women will benefit from the scheme.
  • PM Modi also expressed gratitude towards the Nari Shakti connected to the various locations.
  • 50 percent of Jan Dhan accounts are held by women, and 65 per cent of Mudra loans have been availed of by women.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

14. Sela Tunnel has been inaugurated by PM Modi in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the world's longest bi-lane tunnel, the Sela Tunnel, in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It has been built at an altitude of 13,000 feet. It will ensure uninterrupted connectivity to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh in any season.
  • It has been built at an investment of 825 crore. It has two tunnels and a link road.
  • The foundation stone for the Sela Tunnel was laid in 2019 by the Prime Minister.
  • It lies along the route from Tezpur to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Sela Tunnel is the highest tunnel in India, will provide all-weather connectivity to the strategic Tawang region and other forward areas bordering China.
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