Daily Current Affairs and GK | 18 and 19 February 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 19 Feb 2024 17:47 PM IST

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Topic: Space and IT

1. NASA and Japan set to launch the world’s first wooden satellite.

  • To combat space debris, Japan and the United States will launch the world’s first wooden satellite, the LingoSat probe, into space.
  • It has been created from magnolia wood, which is known for its stability and resistance to cracks.
  • It is a joint venture between Japanese scientists and their American counterparts.
  • Researchers from Kyoto University and Sumitomo Forestry have collaborated to construct this timber satellite.
  • Their ingenious solution will replace traditional metal components with biodegradable materials.
  • Takao Doi, a Japanese aerospace engineer, has cautioned the world about the detrimental effects of existing satellites.
  • At present, the satellites generate aluminium particles while re-entering the atmosphere of Earth. It is injurious to the earth’s upper layer.
  • This innovation will spark hope that satellites and other technology can remain operational even after the depletion of non-biodegradable resources.

Topic: Geography

2. Large deposits of iron ore have been found in Rajasthan’s Karauli.

  • The Rajasthan Mines Department has started the auction for composite license of iron ore blocks in an area of about 1,888 hectares
  • More than 840 million tonnes of iron ore has been found in Khoda, Dadaroli, Todupura and Liloti near Hindon in Karauli.
  • In the initial exploration, both magnetite and hematite of iron ore have been found.
  • Blocks have been prepared for auction by the government. The auction of composite licenses will lead to further exploration in this area.
  • With the discovery of this iron ore deposit, industrial investment will get a boost in the coming years.
  • Many industries, including the iron ore steel industry as well as coal washing, and ferroalloy will get raw materials very easily.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

3. Oppenheimer also won seven trophies at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Film Awards.

  • On 18 February, the winners of the 77th British Academy Film Awards BAFTA Awards have been announced in London’s Royal Festival Hall.
  • Emma Stone was awarded Leading Actress, Cillian Murphy was awarded Leading Actor.
  • The second most nominated film earning 11 nominations, Poor Things directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, won five BAFTAs.
  • The list of winners of BAFTA Awards 2024 is given below:



Best Film


Best Director

Christopher Nolan

Leading Actress

Emma Stone

Leading Actor

Cillian Murphy

Supporting Actress

Da’Vine Joy Randolph

Supporting Actor

Robert Downey Jr

Original Screenplay

Anatomy of a Fall

Best Cinematography


Special Visual Effects

Poor Things

Outstanding British Film

The Zone of Interest

Outstanding Debut by a British

Earth Mama

Best Documentary

20 Days in Mariupol

Animated Film

The Boy and the Heron

British Short Animation

Crab Day

British Short Film

Jellyfish and Lobster

EE Rising Star Award

Mia McKenna-Bruce


Topic: State News/ Uttar Pradesh

4. On 19 February, projects worth Rs 10 lakh crore were launched in Uttar Pradesh by PM Narendra Modi.

  • On this occasion, the foundation stone of Shri Kalki Dham Temple in Sambhal district laid by the PM, and the model of Shri Kalki Dham Temple was also unveiled.
  • 14 thousand projects worth more than Rs 10 lakh crore across the state launched by the Prime Minister in Lucknow.
  • These projects relate to sectors like manufacturing, renewable energy, IT, food processing, housing, real estate and education.
  • Along with the groundbreaking ceremony, a grand exhibition was also organized.
  • In this 3-day exhibition, more than 9 sectors will be showcased, which will include AI pavilion, textiles, logistics, warehousing, defense and aerospace, etc.
  • Approximately 5000 participants will attend the event, including notable industrialists, ambassadors, and high commissioners.

Shri Kalki Dham Temple in Sambhal district

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Awards and Prizes

5. Jnanpith Award will be honoured to Gulzar and Rambhadracharya for 2023.

  • On February 17, the Jnanpith selection committee announced, Noted Urdu poet Gulzar and Sanskrit scholar Jagadguru Rambhadracharya have been named as recipients of the 58th Jnanpith Award.
  • 89-year-old Sampoorna Singh Kalra, better known as Gulzar, is known for his work in Hindi cinema and is considered one of the finest Urdu poets of this era.
  • Previously, Gulzar had received the Sahitya Akademi Award for Urdu in 2002, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2013, the Padma Bhushan in 2004, and at least five National Film Awards for his work.
  • Some of his best works include the song "Jai Ho" from the movie "Slumdog Millionaire", which received an Oscar Award in 2009 and a Grammy Award in 2010.
  • 74-year-old Rambhadracharya, founder and head of Tulsi Peeth in Chitrakoot, is a renowned Hindu spiritual leader, teacher and author of over 240 books and scriptures, including four epics.
  • A polyglot, who speaks 22 languages, Rambhadracharya is one of the current four Jagadguru Ramanandacharyas of the Ramananda sect and has held the post since 1982.
  • In 2015, he received the Padma Vibhushan award.
  • 57th Jnanpith Award for 2022 was honoured to Goan writer Damodar Mauzo.
  • Jnanpith Award:
    • Established in 1961, the award is a literary award that is presented every year by the Bhartiya Jnanpith for outstanding contribution to literature.
    • The award is given for literary work in 22 “scheduled languages” recognised in the Indian Constitution.
    • Under this award, a prize of Rs 21 lakh, a statue of Vagdevi, and a citation is given.
    • The first award was presented in 1965 to G. Sankara Kurup.

Topic: Sports

6. Led by PV Sindhu and youngster Anmol Kharb, Indian women won the Badminton Asia Team Championships 2024.

  • On February 18, Indian women won a historic gold medal at the Badminton Asia Team Championships in Malaysia by defeating Thailand 3-2 in the final.
  • The Badminton Asia Team Championships 2024 was held in Shah Alam, Malaysia from February 13 to 18.
  • In this Championships, this was India's first gold medal. Previously, the Indian men's team had won two bronzes - in 2016 and 2020.
  • On 18 February, the Chinese men's team won by defeating the host nation Malaysia at the 2024 Badminton Asia Team Championships.
  • PV Sindhu defeated Supanida Katethong by 21-12, 21-12.
  • Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand defeated Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai by 21-16, 18-21, 21-16.
  • Ashmita Chaliha lost to Busanan Ongbamrungphan by 21-11, 21-14.
  • Priya Konjengbam and Shruti Mishra lost to Benyapa Aimsaard-Nuntakarn Aimsaard by 21-11, 21-9.
  • Anmol Kharb defeated Pornpicha Choeikeewong by 21-14, 21-9.
Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
January Monthly Current Affairs 2024 December Monthly Current Affairs 2023
November Monthly Current Affairs 2023 October Monthly Current Affairs 2023

Topic: State News/Odisha    

7. Under the Swayam program, the Odisha government will lend money to young people at no interest.

  • Under the 'Swayam' plan, the Odisha government has decided to offer youths in the state interest-free loans up to Rs 1 lakh.
  • Odisha Agriculture Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain stated that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has chosen to implement the Swayam plan in order to provide more jobs or income to young people living in rural and urban areas.
  • Small business owners can obtain finance without the need for collateral security. The state government will bear all of the costs.
  • They can start a new business or improve their current one by taking up to Rs 1 lakh at a time.
  • Under Swayam, interest-free loans of up to Rs 1 lakh would be given to 1 lakh qualified youngsters in rural areas and an equivalent number in urban areas between the ages of 18 and 35 to help them launch new businesses or grow current ones.
  • All young people without jobs in rural areas or those who don't have any outstanding loans from any state or centrally funded programs will be qualified.
  • The state would spend Rs 672 crore on the programme over its two-year operational period.
  • Additionally, the government has agreed to give two jute bags, each with a capacity of 20 kg and 10 kg, to every PDS family at no cost for daily use.
  • The plan, Mukhyamantri Maschyajibi Kalyan Yojana (MMKY), was also approved by the state cabinet.
  • Government will implement it during the 2023-24 fiscal year with a total budget outlay of nearly Rs 448 crore.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

8. Dr. S Jaishankar attended the 60th Munich Security Conference in Germany.

  • As part of the conference, Dr Jaishankar addressed a panel discussion on 'Growing the Pie: Seizing Shared Opportunities.
  • On the sidelines of the Conference, he discussed issues related to bilateral cooperation with leaders including US Secretary of State Blinken and his British counterpart David Cameron.
  • He also held talks with his Canadian counterpart Melanie Joly. He held a meeting with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock.
  • The High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the European Union, Josep Borrell, and the External Affairs Minister Dr Jaishankar discussed the state of the world today.
  • Global and regional concerns were discussed by Dr. Jaishankar and UK Foreign Minister David Cameron, along with bilateral collaboration between India and the UK.
  • He also held a meeting with Argentina's counterpart, Diana Mondino.
  • The 60th Munich Security Conference started on 16 February 2024.
  • The three-day conference provided a chance for high-level discussions on the most important security issues facing the globe today.

Topic: International News

9. US Congress passed the Quad bill to enhance cooperation.

  • The Strengthening the ‘Quad’ Act has been passed by the US House of Representatives.
  • The legislation’s main aim is to intensify cooperation between India, US, Japan and Australia in the Indo-Pacific.
  • A Quad Intra-Parliamentary Working Group will be also formed. The US Secretary of State will have to submit the status of Quad’s activities within 180 days.
  • A strategy for bolstering cooperation has been also discussed in the Congress.
  • This bill was introduced by House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Gregory Meeks.
  • Congress states that the US should expand dialogue and cooperation through Quad.
  • Quad:
    • The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) is commonly known as the Quad.
    • It is a group of India, Australia, Japan, and the United States with a commitment to work for a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
    • In 2007, the group met for the first time on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
    • It is seen as a strategic grouping to reduce Chinese domination.

Topic: Indian Economy

10. India’s outward FDI increases 25.7% to $2.1 billion in January.

  • According to the RBI data, India’s outward foreign direct investment (FDI) increased by 25.7 per cent on a year-on-year (Y-o-Y) basis to $2.09 billion in January 2024.
  • The outward FDI had declined from $2.5 billion in December 2023.
  • Outbound FDI comprises three components – equity, loans, and guarantees.
  • The equity has increases to $760.9 million in January 2024 from $597.4 million in January 2023. It was lower than the $834.7 million recorded in December 2023.
  • In January, Guarantees for overseas units increased to $1.02 billion from $854.1 million in January 2023.
  • Debt commitments had also increased to $306.2 million in January 2023.

Topic: State News / Uttarakhand

11. Uttarakhand will start India's first helicopter emergency medical service.

  • On 19 February, Union Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said that India's first Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) would be launched from Uttarakhand.
  • At the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Rishikesh, a helicopter will be deployed from where it can be sent anywhere within a 150 km radius to transport people to hospitals.
  • Under the project ‘Sanjeevani’, the HEMS service would be operated.
  • The development came a day after the recently inauguration of the newly constructed terminal building (Phase-2) at Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun, by Scindia. 
  • Built at a cost of ₹486 crore, the terminal will be able to serve 3,240 passengers during peak hours and 4.7 million passengers annually.
  • In December, the Uttarakhand Helipad and Heliport Policy 2023 was approved by the Uttarakhand Cabinet to address challenges in access to remote areas in the hilly regions of the state.
  • The policy was proposed by the Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA), the nodal body for the development of civil aviation infrastructure and ecosystems in the state.

Topic: National Appointment

12. Nikhil Joshi has been appointed as the new Managing Director of Boeing Defense India.

  • Nikhil Joshi has been appointed as the Managing Director of Boeing Defense India (BDI) by US-based aerospace company Boeing as part of its strategy to strengthen operations and accelerate growth in India.
  • Joshi, who has over 25 years of aerospace and defense industry experience, including service with the Indian Armed Forces, will lead current and future programs for BDI.
  • He will focus on enhancing mission readiness and modernizing India's defense forces.
  • Additionally, Joshi served as country manager for Eaton Aerospace, where he was responsible for growing Eaton's business footprint in India.
  • Boeing has had a presence in India for over eight decades.
  • India currently operates various Boeing platforms, including 11 C-17s, 22 AH-64 Apache, 15 CH-47 Chinooks, 12 P-8I, 3 VVIP aircraft (737 airframe), and two Head of State aircraft (777 airframe).
  • Established in 1916, the Boeing Company is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets, satellites, telecommunications equipment, and missiles worldwide.

Topic: Personality in News

13. Khasi freedom fighter U Tirot Sing statue has been unveiled in Dhaka.

  • A statue of U Tirot Sing has been unveiled at the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre, Dhaka.
  • U Tirot Sing was a freedom fighter from Khasi Hills who rebelled against British colonialism.
  • The Deputy Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Sniawbhalang Dhar, and the High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh, Pranay Verma, jointly unveiled the statue.
  • Tirot Sing was a tribal chief known as ‘the Hero of the Khasi Hills' of Meghalaya.
  • He was one of the chiefs of the Khasi people in the early 19th century.
  • His death is commemorated in Meghalaya as U Tirot Sing Day.

U Tirot Sing statue

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Art and Culture

14. 11th International Puppet Festival has been inaugurated in Chandigarh.

  • This year, Chandigarh is hosting the 11th International Puppet Festival.
  • Through the beautiful art of puppetry, artists from different parts of the world will show their performances in this event.
  • The department of cultural affairs is organizing this event in collaboration with the Tagore Theatre Society from Feb 17 to 21 at Tagore Theatre.
  • Puppetry performances by artists from Russia, France, Brazil, USA, and Sri Lanka will be organized.
  • Two different shows for children and public will also be showcased at 10:30 AM and 6:30 PM daily, respectively.
  • A live demonstration of puppet making will also be showcased during the festival.
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