Daily Current Affairs and GK | 13 March 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 13 Mar 2024 16:44 PM IST

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Half Yearly (Jul- Dec 2023 , Detailed)
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Current Affairs

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Topic: National News

1. Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar inaugurated India’s 1st FutureLABS center at C-DAC Thiruvananthapuram.

  • The “Centre for Semiconductor Chips & Systems for Strategic Electronics” has been inaugurated at C-DAC Thiruvananthapuram.
  • It will play a critical role in catalyzing an ecosystem for next-generation chip design, manufacturing, and research.
  • C-DAC (T) and the Ministry of Railways collaborated for the development of electric locomotive technologies.
  • C-DAC (T) and Tata Power signed a MoU for the development and deployment of microgrid technologies.
  • The announcement has been also made for the transfer of technology of the electric vehicle wireless charger developed by C-DAC (T) and VNIT Nagpur to BelRise Industries Limited.
  • The idea of FutureLABS is a partnership between CDAC and industry, students, startups, and academia.

India’s 1st FutureLABS center at C-DAC Thiruvananthapuram

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Indian Economy

2. India's industrial output growth declined to 3.8% in January.

  • It accelerated to 4.24% in December. Growth in the manufacturing sector dropped to 3.2% from 4.5% in December.
  • For the second time in the last three months, consumer non-durables output declined.
  • Output of consumer non-durables decreased by 0.3%.
  • The production of electricity and mining both increased to 5.6% and 5.9%, respectively.
  • The production of consumer durables increased by 10.9%.
  • Production of consumer durables increased due to base effect.
  • The output of capital goods increased by 4.1% in January.
  • The growth rate for intermediate products increased to 4.8% in January.
  • But in January, the growth rate for primary commodities decreased to 2.9%.
  • The construction and infrastructure goods growth rate decreased to 4.6% in January.
  • Out of the 23 manufacturing segments that are tracked by the National Statistical Office to compute the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), eight have shown decline in January.
  • Computers, electronics and optic products recorded the steepest fall of 11.9% in January.
  • On the other hand, other transport equipment segment grew 25.3% in January.

Topic: Important Days

3. No Smoking Day 2024: 13 March

  • No Smoking Day is organised on each second Wednesday of March.
  • This year, No Smoking Day falls on 13 March.
  • It aims to increase awareness of the harmful effects of tobacco use.
  • In India, there are over 26 crore tobacco smokers, and diseases linked to tobacco use claim the lives of over 10 lakh people annually.
  • Passive smoking often leads to asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia.
  • The observing of No Smoking Day started in United Kingdom in 1984.

Topic: International News

4. After winning Georgia, and Mississippi primaries, Joe Biden secures Democratic nomination.

  • In the Democratic primary for the 2024 election, US President Joe Biden won the nomination.
  • Having won the presidential contests in Georgia, Mississippi, and the Northern Mariana Islands, he was nominated.
  • He collected over 1,968 pledged delegates.
  • There are 4,672 delegates allocated to the Democratic Party. This figure represents the total number of delegates. 
  • The official announcement of the nomination will take place in August during the Democratic National Convention scheduled in Chicago.
  • In addition, the Democratic presidential candidate must receive the votes of the majority of delegates at the Democratic National Convention in order to be formally nominated.
  • After the Hawaii Republican Caucus, it is anticipated that Donald Trump would receive the Republican nomination.

Topic: Indian Economy

5. Inflation remained stable at 5.09% in February compared to 5.1% in January.

  • Measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), India's benchmark inflation number remained stable between January and February.
  • The headline retail inflation number came in at 5.09% in February compared to 5.1% in January 2024.
  • This modest easing comes amid efforts by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), with the government ordered to maintain retail inflation at 4%.
  • Inflation in February 2023 stood at 6.44%, indicating a significant decline from the previous year.
  • Food inflation in the CPI basket rose slightly to 8.66% in February from 8.3% in the previous month, National Statistics Office data showed.
  • This is largely a reflection of the sharp rise in prices of eggs, fish, and meat, inflation in this category rose from 1.6% in January to 5.7% in February.
  • Inflation of vegetables also increased to 30.3% in February from 27.1% in January.

Topic: Defence

6. India remained the world's largest arms importer.

  • Despite ongoing efforts to strengthen its defence-industrial base, India retained the title of the world's largest arms importer.
  • India's share in total global arms imports between 2019 and 2023 stood at 9.8%.
  • Recent data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) shows that India's arms imports have increased by 4.7% between 2014-18 and 2019-23.
  • This increase has been partly attributed to emergency purchases made in response to the prolonged military standoff with China.
  • However, Russia remained India's main arms supplier, accounting for 36% of its arms imports.
  • Specifically, SIPRI highlighted that the period between 2019-23 was the first five-year period since 1960-64 where Russian deliveries comprised less than half of India's arms imports.
  • France and the United States are emerging as India's major suppliers, collectively accounting for 46% of its arms imports.
  • This includes India's procurement of 31 armed MQ-9B Sky Guardian drones from the US and 26 Rafale-M fighters from France.
  • India (9.8%) ranks as the top arms importer, followed by Saudi Arabia (8.4%), Qatar (7.6%), Ukraine (4.9%), Pakistan (4.3%), Japan (4.1%), Egypt (4%), Australia (3.7%), South Korea (3.1%), and China (2.9%).
  • Among the top arms exporters, the United States leads with a 42% share, followed by France (11%) and Russia (11%).
Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
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Topic: Indian Polity

7. Haryana's new chief minister, Nayab Singh Saini, was sworn in.

  • He is a leader of the BJP. He represents Kurukshetra as an MP.
  • Governor Bandaru Dattatreya of Haryana administered the oath to him.
  • In addition, five MLAs were sworn in as ministers. Four of them are BJP members and one is an independent.
  • As ministers, Independent MLA Ranjit Singh Chautala and BJP members Kanwar Pal, Mool Chand Sharma, Jai Prakash Dalal, and Banwari Lal took an oath of office.
  • They were all members of the Khattar cabinet that resigned earlier.
  • Anil Vij, the former home minister, has not, however, been included in the new cabinet.
  • The assembly elections are scheduled in October. Khattar's second tenure as chief minister was to end in October.
  • Along with the other thirteen members of the BJP-led council of ministers, Khattar had earlier given resignation to the governor.
  • The deputy chief minister in the Khattar-led government was Dushyant Chautala. He is the leader of the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP).
  • The JJP now has 10 MLAs in the 90-member assembly. At present, the BJP has 41 MLAs in the 90-member assembly.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

8. Amitav Ghosh has won the Erasmus Prize 2024.

  • Amitav Ghosh is a Kolkata-born eminent writer.
  • Utrecht-based Praemium Erasmianum Foundation announced he has won the award for his contribution to the theme “imagining the unthinkable”.
  • According to the foundation, he has been awarded for his contribution to the theme in which an unprecedented global crisis, climate change, takes shape through the written word.
  • Other recipients of the prize include famous filmmakers Ingmar Bergman and Charles Chaplin.
  • The work of Amitav Ghosh include novels such as The Shadow Lines, The Hungry tide and the Ibis Trilogy.
  • The Great Derangement is his non-fiction work. He won Jnanpith award in 2018. 
  • Erasmus Prize:
    • It was started in 1958. It is given annually. The prize includes a cash prize of 150,000 Euros.
    • It is given to persons or institutions who made an exceptional contribution to the humanities, the social sciences or the arts, in Europe and beyond.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

9. Kempegowda International Airport has been recognised as the best airport for arrivals globally.

  • In the Airports Council International’s (ACI) Airport Service Quality Awards 2023, Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in Bengaluru has been recognised as the best airport for arrivals.
  • Kempegowda International Airport has shared this honour with two other airports — Thiruvananthapuram International Airport in Kerala, and the Zayed International Airport – Terminal A in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • 31 airports — 27 airports from Asia-Pacific and four from the Middle East received ACI Airport Service Quality Awards.
  • A total of six Indian airports have been recognised by the ACI Airport Service Quality Awards.
  • In the category of over 40 million in the Asia-Pacific region, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai and Indira Gandhi International Airport have been recognized as the best airports.
  • In the 15 to 25 million passengers category in the Asia-Pacific region, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad has been recognised as the best airport.
  • Chandigarh airport is recognized as the best airport in the 2 to 5 million passenger category in the Asia-Pacific region.

Topic: Banking System

10. SEBI notified the regulations for small and medium real estate investment trusts.

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) issued guidelines for the creation of Small and Medium Real Estate Investment Trusts.
  • SEBI issued regulations to amend the REIT Regulations 2014. The investment managers of such REITs should have a minimum net worth of ₹20 crore.
  • SM REIT is allowed to gather funds starting from ₹50 crore by issuing units to a minimum of 200 investors.
  • These funds will be used for acquiring and managing real estate assets. The ownership of these assets will be structured through one or more schemes.
  • The minimum subscription amount for an SM REIT's initial offering is ₹10 lakh per investor.
  • The investment manager is mandated to retain a minimum of 5% of the total outstanding units in each scheme.
  • SM REIT schemes may raise funds from Indian and foreign investors through the issuance of units.

Topic: Art and Culture

11. From March 7 to March 10, the Gorsam Kora Festival is celebrated at Zemithang in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh.

  • The festival symbolizes the enduring friendship between India and Bhutan and highlights the cultural richness of the region.
  • The local community organized the festival with the cooperation of civil authorities and the Indian Army.
  • With the theme ‘Zero Waste Festival’, the festival was celebrated this year, and members of the Further and Beyond Foundation organized a cleanliness drive.
  • In the four-day event, the chanting of sacred mantras and traditional Buddhist rituals by monks were featured at Gorham Church.
  • In the festival, the pilgrims and lamas from Bhutan, Tawang, and neighbouring areas participated.
  • The festival featured captivating performances by local cultural troupes and Indian Army bands and also included martial performances such as Mallakhamb and Jhanj Pathaka.

Topic: National Appointment

12. On March 11, Shri Kishore Makwana took over as Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) in New Delhi.

  • He assumed office after being appointed by the President of India.
  • Mr. Makwana has served as the joint spokesperson of the Gujarat unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
  • He is also a journalist and has been the author of more than 33 books. He has written 9 books on Dr. Ambedkar.
  • It includes the ‘Samajik Kranti na Mahanayak Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’ (great hero of the social revolution – Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar), ‘Swami Vivekananda’, ‘Safalta no Mantra’ (Mantra of Success), etc.
  • In addition, Shri Luv Kush Kumar also assumed charge as a member of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC).

Topic: National News

13. PM inaugurated ‘One Station One Product’ (OSOP) stalls at 205 railway stations.

  • The ‘One Station One Product’ (OSOP) scheme promotes the ‘Local for Vocal’ vision of the Government of India.
  • It provides a market for local products and generates income for the marginalised sections of the society.
  • 10 new Vande Bharat Express trains have been flagged off by PM Modi on 12th March.
  • Goods shed with warehousing facilities have been also inaugurated at Singaperumal Koil, Gangaikondan, Theni, Pattukottai, Thiruthuraipoondi and Valliyur.
  • Prime Minister inaugurated Jan Aushadi Kendras at Dindigul, Erode, Tiruchi and Palakkad railway stations.
  • A rail coach restaurant has been also inaugurated at Chennai Central.
  • Two air-conditioned EMUs were allotted for Southern Railway and its service will start in May or June.

Topic:  National Appointments

14. Dhanaraj T has been appointed as the Executive Director of Indian Overseas Bank.

  • He has been appointed for three years, effective from 10 March.
  • Before joining the Indian Overseas Bank, he served as the Chief General Manager at Indian Bank.
  • Indian Overseas Bank is a nationalized bank headquartered in Chennai.
  • It is a government-owned bank. Ajay Srivastava J is its MD and CEO.
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