Daily Current Affairs and GK | 17 January 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 17 Jan 2024 17:18 PM IST

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Half Yearly (Jul- Dec 2023 , Detailed)
2023 e Book

Current Affairs

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Topic: Environment and Ecology

1. 2023 has been confirmed as the warmest on record.

  • The 2023 Global Climate Highlights report has been released by the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).
  • 2023 has been declared as the hottest year on record.
  • As per the report, the global average temperature in 2023 was 14.98 degrees Celsius. It is 0.17 degrees Celsius more than the 2016 global average temperature.
  • 2023 was the first year with all days over 1 degree Celsius warmer than the pre-industrial period.
  • 2023 was 1.48 degrees Celsius warmer than in the 1850-1900 pre-industrial period.
  • Since June, every month has been the world’s hottest on record as compared to the corresponding month in previous years.
  • In 2015, the 2015 Paris Agreement was signed by countries to prevent global warming temperature rise of more than 1.5C (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • The World’s CO2 emissions from burning coal, oil and gas touched a new record level in 2023.
  • The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere touches the highest level recorded at 419 parts per million.

2023 has been confirmed as the warmest

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Defence 

2. CDS Gen Anil Chauhan inaugurated the ninth chapter of ‘Capsule on Science, Technology and Applied Research’ (CAPSTAR) at MILIT, Pune.

  • CAPSTER – 09 is a three-day event. It has been inaugurated on 17 January 2024.
  • The theme of CAPSTER – 09 is ‘Artificial Intelligence: Transforming Warfare’.
  • It will see the active involvement from services, academia, DRDO Labs and private defence industries.
  • The participation of major private firms and academic institutions is aimed as an initiative in policy making on AI for Armed Forces.
  • The CAPSTER – 09 is being organised as part of the 12th Raising Day celebrations of Military Institute of Technology (MILIT).
  • Raising Day celebrations is commemorated on 19 January every year.
  • Military Institute of Technology traces its roots to ‘Institute of Armament Studies’. Its motto is ‘Victory through Technology’.
  • Institute of Armament Studies was established in ‘College of Military Engineering’ in early 50s.
  • In 1967, it moved to Girinagar. MILIT was raised on 19 January 2012 to meet the specific and futuristic training requirements of the Armed Forces.

Topic: Sports

3. India’s tennis player, Sumit Nagal, became first Indian man in 35 years to defeat a seeded player at Grand Slam.

  • He defeated world number 27 Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan.
  • After defeating Alexander Bublik, he secured his place in the 2nd round of the Australian Open.
  • He defeated Bublik with a scoreline of 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) in a match that lasted 2 hours 38 minutes.
  • In 1989, Ramesh Krishnan defeated Mats Wilander (the then world number one) at the Australian Open.
  • Sumit Nagal will be playing in the 2nd round of a Grand Slam for the 2nd time in his career.
  • In 2020 US Open, he had lost to Dominic Thiem in the 2nd round.
  • Nagal made his Slam debut in the 2019 US Open against Roger Federer.    
  • In the 1st round of 2020 US Open, he had defeated American Bradley Klahn. He became 1st Indian to win a Grand Slam singles match after Somdev Devvarman (2013).

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

4. India has signed an agreement to take over 5 lithium mines in Argentina.

  • The centre has signed the agreement to take over five lithium blocks for exploration and development in Argentina.
  • Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) and Catamarca Minera Y Energética Sociedad Del Estado (CAMYEN) signed the agreement.
  • CAMYEN is a state-owned mining and energy company in the Argentine province of Catamarca.
  • This is the first lithium exploration and mining project by a state-owned company.
  • KABIL will start exploration and development of Cortadera-I, Cortadera-VII, Cortadera-VIII, Cateo-2022-01810132 and Cortadera-VI blocks.
  • These blocks cover an area of about 15,703 hectares in the Catamarca province. 
  • Argentina is part of “Lithium Triangle” along with Chile and Bolivia.
  • Chile and Bolivia together have more than half of the world’s total lithium resources.
  • Argentina has 20% of the world’s 98 million tonnes of lithium resources.
  • Argentina has second largest lithium resources after Bolivia (first).
  • It has third largest lithium reserves and fourth largest production in the world.
  • Argentina’s salt-lake lithium offers a cost-effective extraction method compared to hard-rock mining. So, it is commercially appealing.
  • Presently, India meets the lithium demand through 100% import.
  • India’s lithium imports in FY23 amounted to about $3 billion (nearly ₹24,900 crore).

Topic: Science and Technology

5. Samavesha project was launched by I-STEM (Indian Science, Technology, and Engineering Facilities Map) on January 16.

  • The Samavesha project has been launched at IISc, Bengaluru to enhance research collaboration in India by enhancing accessibility to facilities and labs.
  • I-STEM is an initiative of the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, GoI, which plans to conduct around 50 Samavesha across India in 2024.
  • The aim of the project is to connect researchers with scientific institutions through an online portal.
  • The Researcher or the industry looking to avail advanced scientific equipment can connect with the institution that has the equipment they are looking for and rent it to conduct their experiments, through the I-STEM Portal.
  • I-STEM's vision is to create a future where one million new-age researchers full of ideas are seamlessly connected to a network of 10,000 state-of-the-art laboratories across India.
  • In addition, I-STEM also aims to ignite a collaborative ecosystem by the end of 2024, where start-ups, industry, and academia co-create the next wave of innovation.
  • According to I-STEM, this saves researchers, industry, and start-ups from excessive capital expenditure for purchasing advanced equipment.
  • At the national level, this prevents duplication of resources across research institutions.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Rankings

6. Gujarat, Kerala, and Karnataka emerged as the best-performing states in developing the startup ecosystem.

  • According to the ranking of states and Union Territories (UTs) by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Gujarat, Kerala, and Karnataka have emerged as the best-performing states for budding entrepreneurs.
  • On January 16, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal released the “Startup Rankings of States for 2022” in New Delhi.
  • This was the fourth edition of the awards and saw participation from 33 states and union territories.
  • They were ranked under five categories: best performers, top performers, leaders, aspiring leaders, and an emerging startup ecosystem.
  • The ranking is based on the initiatives taken to develop the startup ecosystem to promote budding entrepreneurs.
  • Participants were assessed across 7 broad Reform areas comprising 25 action points.
  • This includes Institutional Support, Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Access to the Market, Incubation and Mentorship support, Funding Support, Capacity building of enablers & Roadmap to a sustainable future.
  • 15% of the total score was awarded based on 10,000+ survey responses collected in 9 languages.
  • States Startup Ranking Framework 2022 Results:

Performance

Category A States (Population more than 1 crore)

Category B States (Population less than 1 crore)

Best performer

Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu

Himachal Pradesh

Top Performer

Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Telangana

Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya

 

Leader

Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand

Goa, Manipur and Tripura

Aspiring leader

Bihar and Haryana

Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Nagaland

Emerging Ecosystems

Chhattisgarh, Delhi, and Jammu and Kashmir

Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Ladakh, Mizoram, Puducherry, and Sikkim

 

Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
December Monthly Current Affairs November Monthly Current Affairs
October Monthly Current Affairs September Monthly Current Affairs

Topic: National News

7. PM Modi inaugurated three major infrastructure projects worth over 4,000 crore rupees at a function held at the Wellingdon Island in Kochi, Kerala.

  • Inaugurated projects are the New Dry Dock Facility at the Cochin Shipyard, the Cochin Shipyard’s International Ship Repair facility at the Wellingdon Island, and the Indian Oil Corporation's LPG Import Terminal at Puthuvypeen.
  • New Dry Dock facility built at a cost of 1799 crore rupees at the Cochin Shipyard, is the largest dry dock in India.
  • It can accommodate LNG Carriers. It can also accommodate large vessels and oil rigs.
  • The dual purpose dry dock can be utilized for both ship construction and ship repairs.
  • The dry dock will completely remove dependency on foreign countries.
  • The International Ship Repair facility at Wellingdon Island is constructed at a cost of 970 crore rupees.
  • It has six work stations that would make the simultaneous repair of six vessels possible.
  • PM Modi also inaugurated the 1236 crore IOC LPG Import Terminal at Puthuvypeen.
  • It is expected that the project will result in annual logistic savings of 150 crore rupees.
  • It is also expected to result in reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 18,000 tonnes per annum.
  • Wellingdon Island is the largest artificial island in India.

Topic: Art and Culture

8. 'Srimandir Parikrama Prakalpa' or Jagannath Temple Heritage Corridor project opened to the public on 17 Jan 2024 at Puri in Odisha.

  • The project is part of an initiative of the state government to make the pilgrim town a world heritage city.
  • The Maha Yagna, which began on Makar Sankranti Day, was on its third day on 17 January.
  • It concluded with the offering of Purna Ahuti by Puri Gajapati King Dibyasingha Deb on 17 January afternoon.
  • The Temple heritage corridor has been constructed to improve the visual connection between devotees and the shrine.
  • The 75-meter corridor will provide unobstructed pathways around the Jagannath temple’s Meghanada Pacheri (outer wall).
  • For a month beginning on January 22, the Odisha government has organised for 10,000 visitors each day from over the nation to visit the 12th-century shrine in Puri.
  • Jagannath Temple, Puri is dedicated to Jagannath, a form of Vishnu. It is a Hindu temple. It is famous for its annual Ratha Yatra. 
  • The main temple of Jagannath at Puri was built by King Indradyumna of Avanti.

Topic: National News

9. 9th Indian International Science Festival has been inaugurated in Faridabad, Haryana.

  • Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurated the 9th Indian International Science Festival (IISF) in Faridabad, Haryana.
  • This is being organized at the Campus of Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) and Regional Centre for Biotechnology (RCB) of the Department of Biotechnology in Faridabad.
  • 'Science and Technology Public Outreach in Amrit Kaal' is the theme of this festival.
  • Its main objective is to engage the public with science and celebrate the joy of science.
  • This festival will be organized from 17th-20th January.
  • This festival has a total of 17 themes to showcase scientific achievements providing various benefits to the participants and the general public.
  • The International Science Festival has been organized, since 2015. The Department of Space and the Department of Atomic Energy became part of IISF in 2021.

9th Indian International Science Festival

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Environment and Ecology

10. A rare Tibetan Brown Bear has been spotted in Sikkim.

  • A trap camera installed by the Sikkim Forest Department and WWF-India recorded Tibetan Brown Bear in the high altitudes of North Sikkim.
  • This discovery added a new subspecies to the mammal list of India.
  • This rare Tibetan Brown Bear is an omnivore that eats marmots and alpine vegetation.
  • This is very different from the more commonly found Himalayan Black Bear.
  • It lives in high-altitude alpine forests, meadows, and steppe above 4000 m.
  • The Tibetan brown bear is also known as the Tibetan blue bear. It is one of the rarest bear subspecies in the world.
  • It is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • It is also listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) as a protected species.

Topic: National News

11. India Meteorological Department celebrated its 150th year of establishment on 15 January.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar, attended the inaugural ceremony of the 150th year of its establishment as the chief guest.
  • About 1200 delegates from across the country participated in the program organized in New Delhi.
  • President appreciated IMD for its pivotal role in increasing the farmer’s income through the appropriate forecast of daily weather, hazards, and crop weather advisories.
  • This forecast is issued by IMD in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, state & central Agricultural Universities, and the state Agricultural departments.
  • Through accurate forecasts, a BPL family farmer with a landholding of less than 2 acres in a rainfed area gains Rs 12,500 by using weather information.
  • Also, the country gains 13,300 crores towards GDP per year.
  • The number of Doppler radars in the country increased from 15 in 2014 to 39 in 2023, and an additional 25 radars will be added in the next 2-3 years.
  • Rainfall monitoring stations increased from 3,955 in 2014 to 6,095 in 2023, upper air stations increased from 43 in 2014 to 56 in 2023, and high wind speed recorders increased from 19 in 2014 to 35 in 2023.
  • On the occasion of IMD's 150th year celebrations, the Vice President released and launched the following:
    • Souvenir on Evolution of IMD and its services since 1875
    • Indigenously developed Decision Support System
    • Panchayat Mausam Seva for farmers
    • IMD’s Mobile App and Mausamgram
    • National Framework of Climate Services (NFCS)

Topic: Awards and Prizes

12. Argentine superstar Lionel Messi won the Best FIFA Men's Player 2023.

  • The announcement was made at the Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony in London on 16 January.
  • He retained the title he won in 2022. Messi also won the FIFA Best Men's Player of 2019 award.
  • This is the third time in the last 4 years that Messi has received this award.
  • He had previously been recognized by FIFA as the leading player in the men's game on five occasions – in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015–making it his eighth individual award overall.
  • Messi topped the voting, leaving behind other finalists Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe.
  • Spain and Barcelona striker Aitana Bonamati was awarded the Best FIFA Women's Player award.
  • The following awards are:

Awards Category

Winners

Best FIFA Men's Player award

Lionel Messi

Best FIFA Women's Player award

Aitana Bonamati

Best Men's Manager Award

Pep Guardiola (Manchester City coach)

Best Women's Coach Award

Sarina Wiegmann (England coach)

Best Men's Goalkeeper Award

Ederson (Manchester City Goalkeeper)

Best Women's Goalkeeper Award

Mary Earps (Manchester United and England Goalkeeper)

Best FIFA Men's Player 2023

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Indian Economy

13. The government imposed a 50% export duty on molasses.

  • The government has imposed a 50% duty on exports of molasses, which is extracted as a by-product in alcohol production.
  • A 50% export duty will be imposed on molasses produced during the extraction or refining of sugar.
  • Till November 2023 India had exported molasses worth $101.33 million in Financial Year 2023-24 (FY24).
  • Every year, India exports 200,000-300,000 tonnes of molasses.
  • In the 2022-23 (October to September) sugar season, 0.45 million tonnes of molasses were exported from Maharashtra.
  • The government has decided to extend the existing concessional duty rates on imports of crude and refined edible oils
  • The basic import duty on refined soyabean oil and sunflower oil was cut to 12.5% from 17.5%, in June last year.

Topic: National News

14. Government has set a target to reduce road accidental death by 50 per cent by 2030.

  • Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the government has set a target to reduce accidental death by 50 per cent by 2030.
  • He said that there is a need to start a campaign on road safety to educate people and change human behaviour.  
  • In India, every hour 53 people get injured and 19 deaths take place in road accidents.
  • Road safety is the topmost priority of the government and the government has taken several steps to control road accident deaths.
  • According to the latest report by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), the number of road accidents in India has increased from 12 per cent to over 4.6 lakh in 2022.
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