Daily Current Affairs and GK | 17 February 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 17 Feb 2024 17:31 PM IST

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Topic: MoUs /Agreements

1. India signed a MoU with Colombia for sharing open-sourced digital public infrastructure.

  • For cooperation in the field of sharing successful digital solutions implemented for digital transformation, an MoU has been signed between India and Colombia.
  • The agreement has been signed between the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Information Technologies and Communications of Colombia.
  • The main aim of the MoU is to promote digital transformation through capacity-building programs, the exchange of best practices, and the exchange of public officials and experts.
  • Both sides discussed the importance of Digital Public Infrastructures.
  • India has developed some of the finest digital public goods infrastructure.
  • For serving citizens, UPI, Jan Dhan, Aadhar, CoWin and ONDC are some of the examples where India has taken the path of building public digital infrastructure.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

2. 22nd Law Commission submitted its report titled “Law on Matrimonial Issues Relating to Non-Resident Indians and Overseas Citizens of India”.

  • Law Commission recommended stated that all marriages between Non-Resident Indians and Overseas Citizens of India and Indian citizens should be made compulsorily registered in India.
  • The Law Commission had received a reference on the Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indians Bill, 2019 from the Ministry of External Affairs for examination.
  • The Law Commission recommended that the central legislation should also include provisions on divorce, maintenance of spouse, custody and maintenance of children, and serving of summons, warrants, or judicial documents on the NRIs/OCIs.
  • It also recommended that amendments be required to the Passports Act, 1967.

Topic: International News

3. Greece legalized same-sex marriage.

  • Greece has become the first Orthodox Christian country to legalized same-sex marriage.
  • The Greek parliament passed the law to legalize same-sex marriage.
  • 176 out of 300 lawmakers in parliament supported the resolution. 76 voted against the proposal.
  • It is a milestone for human rights and this decision reflects Greece’s progressive nature.
  • The new law will allow same-sex couples to adopt and receive full parental recognition.
  • Although Greece introduced civil partnerships for gay couples nearly a decade ago.

Topic: State News/ Haryana

4. 'Van Mitra' scheme launched by Haryana government to encourage participation in tree plantation.

  • On February 15, 'Van Mitra' scheme and its portal launched by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to encourage community participation in tree plantation activities in non-forest areas.
  • With an annual income of less than Rs 1.80 lakh, members of families can register to become 'Van Mitra'.
  • The scheme's objective is to directly involve the local public in increasing the forest areas across the state, ensuring an increase in the survival rate of afforestation and promoting plantations in non-forest areas.
  • Each Van Mitra will receive incentives based on plant maintenance and can plant a maximum of 1,000 saplings.
  • Anyone between the age group of 18 to 60 years can become a Van Mitra.
  • In the first phase of the scheme, 7500 Van Mitras will be selected through the portal. A Van Mitra can select non-forest land for tree plantation in his village, town, or city.
  • If the planted tree grows on Van Mitra's own land, they will be considered the owner of the tree.
  • In the first year, Van Mitras will be registered and trained and they will be made to plant trees under the scheme.
  • In the first year, Van Mitras will get Rs 20 for each pit dug on geo-tagging and uploading the photo of the pit on the mobile app.
  • After geo-tagging, Van Mitras will get Rs 30 for each planted sapling.
  • They will get Rs 10 per live sapling for the maintenance and protection of the planted trees.
  • In the second year, Van Mitras will get Rs 8 per live plant every month.
  • In the third year, they will get Rs 5 per live plant every month and in the fourth year, they will get Rs 3 per live plant.
  • Under the scheme, if Van Mitra does not want to continue the work, the forest department will take possession of the trees.

Topic: State News/ Haryana

5. On 16 February, the foundation stone of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Rewari laid by PM Narendra Modi.

  • This initiative is in line with the government's commitment to strengthen citizen-centric health services through prioritizing public health infrastructure and holistic development of the health sector.
  • AIIMS-Rewari will cater to the healthcare needs of Haryana and also create jobs for the youth and provide them opportunities to pursue medical education.
  • With a cost of ₹1,650 crore, this new AIIMS will be developed on 203 acres of land in Majra Mastil Bhalkhi village in the Rewari district of Haryana.
  • In the last 10 years, 15 new AIIMS and more than 300 new medical colleges have been approved, including one medical college in each district of Haryana.
  • Under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) scheme of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the establishment of AIIMS-Rewari in Haryana has been approved.
  • It aims to correct regional imbalances in the availability of affordable and reliable specialized health services and to increase facilities for quality medical education in the country.
  • Under PMSSY, the establishment of 22 new AIIMS has been approved so far and out of these, 15 AIIMS have been approved since 2014.
  • This will be equipped with a 750-bed hospital complex that includes a 100-seat medical college, a 60-seat nursing college, a 30-bed AYUSH block, a residential complex for faculty and staff, and others.

Topic: Sports

6. R Ashwin became the second-fastest player to take 500 Test wickets.

  • On 16 February, India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin achieved the major feat of taking 500 Test wickets at the Niranjan Shah Stadium.
  • Ashwin became the second Indian to take 500 wickets after Anil Kumble, who took 619 wickets.
  • While bowling in the first innings of the Test match in Rajkot, Ashwin achieved an incredible feat by taking the wicket of Jack Crawley.
  • After Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan (87 matches), Ashwin became the second bowler to take fastest 500 wickets in 98 Test matches.
  • Sri Lanka's Muralitharan is also the all-time leading wicket-taker in Tests, with 800 wickets in 133 games.
  • Ashwin also became India's highest wicket-taker by taking 96 wickets in Test cricket against England, surpassing BS Chandrashekhar.
  • Ashwin has also become the ninth bowler to make 500 dismissals.
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Topic: Committees/Commissions/Taskforces

7. On 16 February, the reconstitution of the Expert Committee announced by IRDAI on the implementation of the Indian Accounting Standards.

  • The 13-member committee will be headed by Member (Finance & Investment) F&I, IRDAI.
  • It will also include the Chairman of the Accounting Standards Board of ICAI, Chairman of the Institute of Actuaries of India, CGM, and HOD of the Actuarial Department of IRDAI.
  • The committee will work on steps to be taken towards effective implementation of Indian Accounting Standards along with giving phase-wise timelines.
  • The panel members will also give recommendations on proforma financial statements and suggestions on financial disclosures in compliance with Indian Accounting Standards as well as suggestions on what can be made mandatory with immediate effect.
  • The committee will also address the requirements of guidance notes, APS, and education materials from relevant professional institutes.
  • The Panel will also address any major issues and concerns arising from the transition activities and any other issues that may be necessary for the transition.

Topic: Important Days

8. Global Tourism Resilience Day 2024: 17 February

  • Every year on 17 February, Global Tourism Resilience Day is celebrated.
  • Global Tourism Resilience Day is an opportunity to look at and reflect on the resilience of the global tourism industry.
  • The United Nations General Assembly established the United Nations Global Tourism Resilience Day on 17 February 2023.
  • Over the past few years, the tourism industry has faced unprecedented challenges, from natural disasters to pandemics, and political instability to economic recession.
  • The term "tourism resilience" is used to describe the ability of a tourist destination to withstand and recover from a crisis.
  • According to the latest UNWTO data, an estimated 975 million tourists traveled internationally between January and September 2023, an increase of 38% compared to the same period in 2022.
  • The Indian tourism sector is one of the fastest-growing economic sectors in the country.
  • India's tourism and hospitality industry is projected to generate revenues of over $59 billion by 2028.
  • Apart from this, foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) are projected to reach 30.5 million by 2028.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

9. MSME Minister Narayan Rane launched a special scheme for informal micro enterprises (IMEs).

  • An Rs 20 lakh scheme under the government’s Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) for GST-exempted micro-units has been launched by MSME Minister Narayan Rane.
  • The scheme ‘Special Provision for Informal Micro Enterprises under Credit Guarantee Scheme’ help in providing credit support to micro or nano enterprises from lenders.
  • Under this scheme, 85 per cent guarantee cover will be provided to lenders for unsecured loans up to Rs 20 lakh to IMEs registered on the Udyam portal.
  • Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) was launched in the year 2000. It provides guarantees to lenders for collateral-free loans to micro and small enterprises.
  • In the current fiscal year, Rs 1.50 lakh crore of guaranteed amount has been disbursed as compared to Rs 1.04 lakh crore in FY23.
  • The finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget 2023 speech had announced a Rs 9,000 crore fund infusion in the CGTMSE corpus.

Topic: Defence

10. 12th edition of the MILAN naval exercise will be held at Visakhapatnam.

  • The 12th edition of the MILAN naval exercise will be organized from February 19 to 27 in Visakhapatnam. More than 50 countries will participate in the exercise.
  • The main objective of the exercise is to ensure the safety of maritime trade for the benefit of all stakeholders.
  • This exercise will provide a platform for the navies of participating countries to collaborate and share ideas.
  • The Harbour Phase will take place from February 19 to 23. It will witness a series of events, including the International City Parade, International Maritime Seminar, Subject Matter Expert Exchange, and Table Top Exercise.
  • Participating country’s navies will take part in advanced air defence, anti-submarine, and anti-surface warfare drills during the Sea phase of the exercise.
  • The MILAN will provide an opportunity for navies to not only foster friendship and strengthen relationships but will also enhance interoperability.

MILAN naval exercise

(Source: DD News)

Topic: State News/ Telangana

11. The foundation stone of Komuraveli Railway Station in Siddipet district of Telangana was laid on 15 February.

  • Its foundation stone was laid by Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav.
  • The famous Komuraveli Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple is in Komuraveli village. Every year about 25 lakh devotees come here for darshan.
  • Union Minister G Kishan Reddy said that in view of the importance of this place, the Railway Ministry has approved the Komuraveli halting station on the Manoharabad-Kothapali railway route to improve the traffic facilities.
  • The new station will provide train connectivity for the first time, fulfilling the aspirations of the people.
  • Mr. Reddy further said that if the new Congress government cooperates with the Centre, the proposed Regional Ring Road for Hyderabad city at a cost of Rs 26 thousand crore will be completed soon.
  • A proposal to lay a ring railway line connecting 8-9 districts in the state is also under active consideration.

Komuraveli Railway Station

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Bihar

12. On 15 February, Senior BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav was elected unopposed as the Speaker of the Bihar Vidhan Sabha.

  • On February 13, Nand Kishore, a seven-time MLA from Patna Sahib assembly constituency, had filed his nomination for the post of Speaker.
  • Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and opposition leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav accompanied the new speaker to the Chair.
  • Nand Kishore was elected MLA for the first time in 1995.
  • He had also served as BJP state president (1998–2003), leader of the opposition in the assembly (June 2013 to 2015), and cabinet minister in the Nitish Kumar government several times in the past.
  • In the previous NDA government, Nand Kishore was also the Road Construction Minister and Health Minister.

Nand Kishore Yadav

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Science and Technology

13. IIT Jammu Professor developed a sound-based anti-drone system.

  • IIT Jammu Electrical Engineering Department Professor developed an anti-drone system that works mainly on sound technology.
  • This drone system is cost-effective and user-friendly.
  • It is the first of its kind system that is developed based on an entirely new technology called 'sound-based detection'.
  • This system detects the sound emitted by drones and produces a unique signature that helps in identifying drones.
  • It could easily detect drones, aircraft, multiple drones or birds flying up to 300 meters by their sound.
  • The signature is compared with the system’s database, and if a match is found, the drone is detected.
  • The cost of this system is about 4 lakh rupees. It will help in detecting drones and birds coming from Pakistan.
  • Different technologies are being developed for the security forces to deal with the increasing use of drones for sending Arms, ammunition, cash and drugs.

Topic: Indian Economy

14. Wholesale inflation decreased to a three-month low of 0.27% in January 2024.

  • January's WPI inflation decreased mostly as a result of moderate food costs, especially those of vegetables.
  • In January 2023, the percentage stood at 4.8%. It was 0.73% as of December 2023.
  • For January 2024, the All India Wholesale Price Index (WPI) data indicates an annual rate of inflation of 0.27 per cent (provisional).
  • Food inflation decreased from 9.38 per cent in December 2023 to 6.85 per cent in January 2024.
  • Vegetable inflation in food articles decreased to 19.71 percent in December from 26.3% in December.
  • Fruits, eggs, milk, seafood, and milk have all seen price reductions.
  • In January, the fuel and power segment had (-) 0.51 percent inflation. In December 2023, the inflation percentage was (-) 2.41% in this segment.
  • Inflation in manufactured products was (-) 1.13 percent in January. In the preceding month, it was (-) 0.71%.
  • In January 2024, the WPI index changed by (-) 0.33 percent from December 2023 to January 2024.
  • Prices of minerals increased in January 2024 over December 2023.
  • On the other side, prices of crude petroleum and natural gas, non-food articles and food articles, declined in January 2024 over December 2023.
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