Daily Current Affairs and GK | 15 December 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 15 Dec 2023 16:52 PM IST

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Current Affairs

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Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

1. Globally, road fatalities decreased but rise in India: WHO report.

  • Between 2010 and 2021, road traffic deaths have decreased by 5% to 1.19 million around the world.
  • As per the WHO report, 108 countries registered a decrease in the cases of road fatalities.
  • WHO’s Global Status Report on Road Safety 2023 shows that the total number of road traffic fatalities in India has increased from 1.34 lakh in 2010 to 1.54 lakh in 2021.
  • Road traffic deaths have decreased by more than 50% in ten countries.
  • Thirty-five countries have reduced road traffic deaths by 30% to 50%.
  • In 2019, road traffic crash was the leading cause of children and youth death aged five to 29 years. Two-thirds of the deaths were among people of working age.
  • In the past decade, the number of road traffic fatalities has decreased by 5%.
  • The road fatality rate has declined from 18 per 1 lakh people in 2010 to 15 per 1 lakh in 2021.
  • As per the report, 28% of global road traffic deaths occurred in the WHO’s South-East Asia Region while 25% of deaths occurred in the Western Pacific Region.
  • 19% of the deaths occurred in the African Region and 12% in the Region of the Americas.

Topic: Space and IT

2. ISRO has plans to launch Chandrayaan-4 in four years said its chairperson S Somanath.

  • Chandrayaan-4 will be launched to bring back samples from the Moon.
  • ISRO chairperson S Somanath elaborated on its Vision 2047.
  • The first module of the Bharatiya Antariksh Station will be launched by 2028.
  • Bharatiya Antariksh Station is India’s planned space station. It will have capability to conduct experiments with the help of robots.
  • During a lecture at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Somanath said an experiment crucial for sustained human spaceflight will be “launched in the next three to four months.
  • The SPADEX experiment will demonstrate autonomous docking capability.
  • In the process known as docking, two spacecrafts are aligned in a precise orbit and joined together.
  • ISRO has shown how to use leftover fuel from the propulsion module to return a spacecraft from the Moon to Earth orbit.
  • With the aid of its parachutes, the spacecraft carrying Moon samples will splash down in the ocean.
  • Additionally, ISRO is creating an inflatable habitat module so that astronauts can move around and carry out research.
  • The Next Generation Launch Vehicle (NGVL), being designed by ISRO, will be able to transport 16 to 25 T into low Earth orbit.

Topic: Defence

3. The acquisition of 6,400 new rockets for the Pinaka weapon system has been approved by the Defence Ministry.

  • The Defence Ministry has given approval to Rs 2,800 crore proposal for buying around 6,400 rockets for Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher systems.
  • At its recent meeting, the Defence Acquisition Council approved the proposal for the acquisition of two types of these rockets, called Area Denial Munition Type 2 and Type-3.
  • Indian army would procure the rockets only from indigenous sources.
  • Two main contenders include the Economic Explosives Limited of Solar Industries and the Munitions India Limited.
  • Munitions India Limited is one of the ammunition-producing companies created by the corporatisation of the erstwhile Ordnance Factories.
  • Pinaka weapon system is named after the bow of Hindu god Shiva.
  • It can fire 12 rockets in 44 seconds, with a maximum range of 40 km for the Mark-I and 120 km for the Mark-I enhanced version.
  • It has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
  • Private sector companies involved in the project include Larsen & Toubro, Tata Defence and Economic Explosives Limited.

Topic: Banking System

4. Bandhan Bank has been authorised by RBI to disburse pensions on behalf of Indian Railways.

  • With this authorisation, Bandhan Bank will be allowed to give pensions to all former employees of the Ministry of Railways.
  • It will have access to nearly 50,000 Indian Railways retirees every year on average across all offices of Indian Railways.
  • The bank will quickly work with the Ministry of Railways to begin the process of giving out pensions.
  • The net profit of Bandhan Bank more than tripled for the quarter ended September 2023 to Rs 721 crore. The net profit increased by a huge 245%.
  • Bandhan Bank is a private sector bank. It is headquartered in Kolkata. Dr. Anup Kumar Sinha is its current chairman. Chandra Shekhar Ghosh is its MD and CEO.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

5. 2023 Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament, and Development awarded to Ali Abu Awwad and Daniel Barenboim.

  • The award has been given for their efforts in bringing together the youth and peoples of Israel and the Arab World for a non-violent resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
  • Former Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur chaired the International Jury of the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development.
  • Maestro Barenboim is an Argentine-born, distinguished classical pianist and conductor, renowned for performing with and directing some of the world's leading orchestras.
  • Mr. Awwad is a distinguished Palestinian peace activist who has been working tirelessly with the people of Palestine and Israel for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
  • This award is given to doctors, nurses, paramedics, and karamchari for their selfless service, unwavering dedication, and perseverance in the face of adversity.
  • The award, instituted after one of the most remarkable leaders of the twentieth century, aims to honour women, men, and institutions who have done exemplary work in the service of humanity.
  • The award is given annually by the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust to individuals or organizations.
  • The award carries a cash award of 2.5 million Indian rupees and a citation.

Topic: National News

6. 'India's fastest' solar-electric boat “Barracuda” launched.

  • Furthering the objective of eco-friendly maritime transportation, Barracuda was launched on December 13 at the yard of Nevalt Solar and Electric Boats located near Aroor in Alappuzha.
  • It is named after the fast, long fish, the barracuda.
  • It has been designed by Navalt, and can carry 12 passengers and cargo. It can be deployed even in rough seas as a workboat.
  • The 14-metre long, 4.4-metre wide ship can achieve a top speed of 12.5 knots (23 km/h) and has a range of seven hours on a single charge.
  • It has two 50 kW electric motors, a marine-grade LFP battery and 6 kW solar power, epitomizing efficient and clean energy use.
  • The ship was built for Mazagon Dock Limited, which will introduce the eco-friendly ship at its Mumbai docks.
  • Navalt Solar and Electric Boats had won the World's Best Start-up award in the Mobility and Transport category at the Berlin Start-up Energy Transition Awards 2023.
Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
November Monthly Current Affairs October Monthly Current Affairs
September Monthly Current Affairs August Monthly Current Affairs

Topic: Defence

7. INS Tarmugli has been commissioned into the Navy.

  • INS Tarmugli was commissioned at a ceremony held at the Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam.
  • Vice Admiral Sandeep Naithani, AVSM, VSM, Chief of Materiel, Indian Navy commissioned it.
  • INS Tarmugli is a Fast Attack Craft (FAC). It is the Trinkat Class FAC which was gifted to the Maldivian Naval Defence Forces (MNDF) in 2006 by India. The ship returned in May 2023.
  • INS Tarmugli is fitted with advanced MTU engines, a 30 mm gun and an advanced Radar system.
  • It will be used for coastal surveillance and safety of our Offshore Development Areas (ODAs) in the KG Basin area and along India’s East Coast.
  • INS Tarmugli can achieve speeds in excess of 30 knots. It is named after a picturesque island in the Andaman group.
  • The 320-tonne INS Tarmugli measures 48 meters in length.

Topic: Economy/Banking/Finance

8. Maharashtra Industries Minister Uday Samant said Maharashtra has got back the top place in the country as FDI recipient.

  • He said Maharashtra got Rs 28,868 crore of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the last three months.
  • He said the state has got back its position as recipient of the highest FDI in the country as per the data on FDI released by the Union government.
  • The government reached a broad consensus to let foreign online vendors engage in inventory-based e-commerce exclusively for exports.
  • Foreign direct investment is now prohibited in the inventory-based e-commerce business per the FDI policy.
  • FDI is only permitted in businesses that use a marketplace style of operation.
  • Online vendors are permitted to have their own inventory of products and services and sell them directly to customers under the inventory-based approach.
  • However, the marketplace-based model of e-commerce uses a gateway operated by a third party to mediate transactions between buyers and sellers.
  • Currently, international e-commerce companies that operate a marketplace are unable to claim ownership of the inventory.

Topic: State News / Bihar

9. MoUs worth Rs 50,530 crore were signed during Bihar’s two-day global investors' summit.

  • Bihar Business Connect-2023 was organized from 13-14 December at Gyan Bhawan, Patna.
  • Around 600 investors from across India and 15 other countries took part in the event.
  • Around 300 companies proposed investments in various sectors of Bihar during the global investors' summit.
  • Adani Group announced an additional investment of Rs 8,700 crore in Bihar in various sectors of Bihar.
  • It will generate direct or indirect employment for approximately 10,000 people.
  • Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also released the Bihar Logistics Policy 2023. The main objective is to provide international-standard infrastructure facilities for industrial and social growth.
  • Bihar government signed MoU with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (Rs 7,386.15 crore), Patel Agri Industries Private Limited (Rs 5,230 crore), Holtech International Inc (Rs 2200 crore), and Indo European Heart Hospitals and Research Institute Private Limited (Rs 2000 crore).
  • The setting of Industries in Bihar has become easy due to the presence of market, raw materials, infrastructure, workforce and government support.
  • Many prominent personalities from various sectors, including Pranav Adani from the Adani Group, Rajneet Kohli from Britannia, Kamal Oswal from the Nahar Group of Industries, etc. have attended the summit.

Topic: National News

10. Union Minister Arjun Munda inaugurated the ASEAN-India Millet Festival in New Delhi.

  • The main aim of the festival is to increase awareness and set up a larger market for millet and millet-based products.
  • Delegates from India, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam attended the festival.
  • India played a key role in organizing mega events of International Millets Year 2023.
  • Union Minister Arjun Munda said that millet provides innumerable benefits to farmers, consumers and the environment. It is important for global food-nutrition security.
  • The cultivation of Millet requires minimal water, a low carbon footprint and the ability to thrive in drought conditions.
  • Several State Millet Missions and Projects have been launched as part of the International Year of Millets mission.
  • This festival concluded on 15th December 2023. The event followed the festival in Jakarta, Indonesia from 22-26 November 2023.

ASEAN-India Millet Festival in New Delhi

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

11. DAE scientists partnered with IDRS Labs to develop Aktocyte tablets for cancer.

  • On December 13, scientists from the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Bengaluru-based IDRS Labs partnered to develop Actocyte tablets for the treatment of pelvic cancer.
  • Experts from BARC, Tata Memorial Hospital, and Advanced Center for Training Research and Education in Cancer collaborated with IDRS Labs with the primary objective of reducing the side effects of radiotherapy.
  • Actocyte tablets have shown remarkable results, especially in pelvic cancer patients suffering from radiotherapy-induced cystitis (blood in urine).
  • Patients treated with Actocyte tablets showed remarkable improvement, eliminating the need for surgical removal of the bladder.
  • The tablet is expected to hit the market in January 2024.
  • The tablets, designed as adjuncts to cancer radiotherapy, regenerative nutraceuticals, immunomodulatory, and antioxidants, mark a significant advance in cancer care.
  • In addition, Aktocyte has received approval from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Topic: State News/ Telangana

12. Ruling Congress candidate G Prasad Kumar has been elected as Speaker of the 3rd Telangana Assembly.

  • Shri Prasad Kumar has been unanimously selected for this prestigious post as no other nominations were filed till the end of the last date for filing nominations on 13th November.
  • He is the first Dalit Speaker of the Telangana Assembly.
  • On 14 December, Pro-tem Speaker Akbaruddin Owaisi handed over the charge to the new Speaker Prasad at the commencement of the proceedings of the Assembly.
  • The new Speaker received the support of 111 MLAs, except eight BJP MLAs, in the 119-member House.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

13. Government to launch a revised incentive scheme for establishing electronic and semiconductor component plants.

  • The government is planning to launch a revised incentive scheme of up to Rs 10,000 crore for establishing electronic and semiconductor component plants in the country.
  • This scheme will be the overhauled version of the Scheme for the Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS).
  • This scheme is likely to be launched in the next fiscal year.
  • After Micron received approval to set up an ATMP unit in Gujarat, more ancillary firms are looking to set up allied units.
  • The government will also increase the fund to two or three times the present size in the next iteration of the scheme.
  • Scheme for the Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS):
  • This scheme gives a financial incentive of up to 25 per cent on total capital expenditure for a specific list of electronic goods.
  • This scheme was notified in April 2020 and ended on March 31, 2023.

Topic: Indian Polity

14. Rajya Sabha MP Derek O'Brien and 14 Lok Sabha MPs were suspended for "unruly behaviour" and "misconduct".

  • Fifteen Opposition MPs, 14 from Lok Sabha and one from Rajya Sabha, have been suspended from Parliament for their “unruly” conduct in Parliament.
  • Among suspended MPs, Nine MPs are from Congress, two from CPM, two from DMK and one from CPI.
  • Manickam Tagore, Kanimozhi, PR Natrajan, V K Shrikantam, Beni Bahan, K Subramanyam, SR Pratiban, S Venkateshan, and Mohammed Javed are among the MPs who were suspended from the Parliament.
  • The Lok Sabha passed a resolution for suspending five Congress MPs for remaining the winter session.
  • As per rule number 373 of Procedure and Conduct of Business, if the Lok Sabha speaker believes that the conduct of any Member is disorderly then he/she can direct the Member to withdraw immediately from the House.
  • The Chairman of Rajya Sabha is empowered under Rule Number 255 of its Rule Book to withdraw immediately a member from the house for his unruly behavior.
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