Daily Current Affairs and GK | 19 December 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 23 Dec 2023 19:10 PM IST

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Topic: Environment and Ecology

1. India achieved two targets of Nationally Determined Contribution before time.

  • India submitted its first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in the year 2015.
  • India has completed two of the targets ahead of time. The targets are given below:
  • To reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 level.
  • To achieve about 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.
  • By October 31, 2023, the cumulative electricity installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources is 186.46 MW. It is 43.81% of the total cumulative electric power installed capacity.
  • According to the third national statement submitted by India to the UNFCCC in December 2023, the emissions intensity of its GDP has reduced by 33 percent between 2005 and 2019.
  • In 2022, India updated its NDC and set a target to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP to 45 per cent by 2030 from the 2005 level.
  • India has set a target of increasing total electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources to 50% by 2030.

Topic: Science and Technology

2. Union Minister Kiren Rijiju flagged off India's first-ever winter science expedition to the Arctic region.

  • India's first-ever winter science expedition to the Arctic region has been flagged off by the Earth Sciences Minister Kiren Rijiju.
  • A team of four scientists started the journey to India's research station in the NyAlesund town on the Brogger peninsula.
  • Athulya R, Girish B S, Prashant Rawat, and Surendra Singh are the members of this team.
  • The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) will make necessary budgetary and other allocations.
  • The team of scientists will stay at the research station at NyAlesund for 30 days.
  • Now, India will have a year-long presence at the research station in the Arctic region.
  • India launched its Arctic research programme in 2007. The main focus of the programme is climate change in the region.
  • In 2022, the government also launched the Arctic Policy. The government is planning to have more research stations and satellite ground stations in the region.

Topic: Geography

3. A 6.2 magnitude earthquake in China killed 116 in Gansu and Qinghai provinces.

  • The earthquake, which struck on December 18, killed 105 people in Gansu province and 11 others in neighbouring Qinghai province.
  • Search and rescue operations are underway in China's Gansu province and Qinghai province.
  • More than 230 people were injured in the earthquake, houses and roads were damaged, and power and communication lines were knocked down.
  • In China's Gansu province, the earthquake damaged more than 4,700 houses.
  • Earthquake:
    • Earthquake generally occurs due to the movement of tectonic plates.
    • Shallow earthquakes are generally more devastating because they carry more energy when they came out on the surface.
    • Deeper earthquakes are less devastating as they lose much of their energy by the time they come to the surface.
    • Western Himalayas is one of the most dangerous seismic zones in the world.

Topic: Agriculture and Allied Sector

4. The rice industry associations directed by the Center to ensure a reduction in the retail price of rice with immediate effect.

  • On December 18, Shri Sanjeev Chopra, Secretary of the Department of Food and Public Distribution, convened a meeting with key representatives of the rice processing industry to review the domestic price scenario of non-Basmati rice in New Delhi.
  • In the meeting, it was discussed that domestic prices of rice are rising despite a good Kharif crop this year, adequate stocks with the FCI, and various regulations regarding the export of rice.
  • The rice industry needs to ensure that prices in the domestic market are brought down to reasonable levels and attempts at profiteering are dealt with strictly.
  • The annual inflation rate of rice has been running around 12% for the last two years and has been increasing in the last few years which is a cause for concern.
  • FCI informed the rice processing industry that adequate stock of good quality rice is available, which is being offered at the reserve price of Rs 29 per kg under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS).
  • The Department of Food and Public Distribution closely monitors and reviews rice prices in the country and takes steps whenever intervention is required to ensure the affordability of rice.

Topic: Important Days

5. Goa Liberation Day 2023: 19 December

  • Every year on December 19, Goa Liberation Day is observed.
  • The day is celebrated to mark the success of 'Operation Vijay' carried out by the armed forces to liberate the state by defeating the Portuguese in 1961.
  • Goa was part of the Portuguese colonies since 1510.
  • Indian military had started ‘Operation Vijay’ on 18 December 1961 to liberate Goa from Portuguese rule.
  • After 36 hours of operation, Indian troops reclaimed the Goa territory on 19 December.
  • Portuguese governor, Manuel Antonio Vassalo e Silva, signed the certificate of surrender, which ended Portuguese rule in Goa.
  • Goa was granted 25th statehood on 30 May 1987.

Topic: Sports

6. Haryana won its first title in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023.

  • In a thrilling Vijay Hazare Trophy final, Haryana won over Rajasthan by 30 runs at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on December 16.
  • Sumit Kumar won the Player of the Match and Player of the Series.
  • Saurashtra had won the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2022.
  • The first edition of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, also known as the Ranji One-Day Trophy, was held in 2002-03.
  • Tamil Nadu holds the record for winning the title 5 times in the Vijay Hazare Trophy tournament.
  • The 2023–24 Vijay Hazare Trophy was the 31st edition of the Vijay Hazare Trophy. It is an annual List A cricket tournament in India.
  • It was played from 12 November to 16 December 2023.
  • The tournament consisted of 38 teams, divided into five groups.


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Topic: Awards and Prizes

7. Indian Armed Forces officers have been awarded the 'Golden Owl' for their outstanding performance.

  • The officers were undergoing the Command and Staff Course at Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) in Sri Lanka.
  • The DSCSC course is designed to prepare senior officers for leadership roles in joint operations and higher command.
  • The award was given to Wing Commander Sumeet Mahajan, Major Rohit and Lieutenant Commander Sunny Sharma by Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
  • The “Golden Owl” award admires strategic thinking, analytical skills and potential for future leadership.
  • Recently, the joint military exercise between India and Sri Lanka concluded at the Southern Command Foreign Training Node, Aundh in Pune.

Topic: Indian Economy

8. The gross collection of Direct Taxes for the Financial Year 2023-24 has registered a growth of over 17%.

  • Before adjusting refunds, Gross Collection of Direct Taxes stood at over 15 lakh 95 thousand crore rupees against 13 lakh 63 thousand crore rupees in the corresponding period of 2022-23.
  • For this finance year up to 17th December, net collections are at 13 lakh 70 thousand crore rupees which is an increase of 20.66%.
  • Advance Tax collections for the Fiscal Year 2023-24 stood at over 6 lakh 25 thousand crore rupees which shows a growth of 19.94%.
  • Advance Tax collection of over 6 lakh 25 thousand crore rupees comprises Corporation Tax at Rs 4,81,840 crore and Personal Income Tax at Rs 1,43,404 crore.
  • Refunds amounting to Rs 2,25,251 crore have also been issued in the Fiscal Year 2023-24 up to 17th December.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

9. Hyderabad has ranked first in India for food adulteration cases.

  • According to the data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Hyderabad is in first position in India regarding food adulteration cases.
  • In cases of food adulteration, Andhra Pradesh stood next to Telangana.
  • The seized items include adulterated ginger garlic paste, ice creams, and tea powder.
  • A total of 291 cases of food adulteration were reported across 19 major cities in India in 2021.
  • Food adulteration is a critical concern for the health of the Public.
  • The contaminated food items can cause severe health problems, including foodborne illnesses, and allergies.
  • The NCRB data shows that there is an urgent need to take strict measures to combat food adulteration.

Topic: Sports

10. Bangladesh won the Under-19 Asia Cup by defeating UAE in the finals.

  • Bangladesh clinched the Under-19 Asia Cup title by defeating UAE by 195 runs.
  • UAE gets all out at 87 runs in 24.5 overs. Bangladesh scored 282/8 after UAE opted to field.
  • Ashiqur is declared as both player of the match and series. Ashiqur scored 378 runs in five innings.
  • The 2023 ACC Under-19 Asia Cup was played between 8 to 17 December 2023.
  • Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, United Arab Emirates Japan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka took part in the tournament.
  • It was held in the United Arab Emirates.

Topic: National News

11. 402 km section of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor inaugurated by PM Modi.

  • On December 18, the 402 km long section from the new Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction to the New Bhaupur Junction of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) was dedicated.
  • The inauguration of this section is an important part of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor. It is built at a cost of Rs 10,903 crores.
  • This section lies on the Delhi-Howrah rail route, which passes through the districts of Uttar Pradesh like Chandauli, Mirzapur, Prayagraj, Kaushambi, Fatehpur, Kanpur Nagar and Kanpur Dehat.
  • It consists of a total of 12 stations, including six junction stations and six crossing stations.
  • This corridor connects the coal fields of Jharkhand and West Bengal, such as Eastern Coalfields Limited, Central Coalfields Limited, Bharat Coking Coal Limited, and Northern Coalfields Limited, with power plants in northern India.
  • With freight trains running at speeds of up to 100 km/h on this corridor, the faster supply of coal to power plants has reduced logistics costs and time.

Topic: Important Days

12. International Migrants Day 2023: 18 December

  • Every year on 18 December International Migrants Day is celebrated to create awareness regarding the plight of migrants across the world.
  • The theme of International Migrants Day 2023 is “Act Today”.
  • It is observed to mark the anniversary of adopting the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families by the United Nations General Assembly in 1990.
  • UNGA had proclaimed 18 December as International Migration Day on 4 December 2000.
  • International Migrants Day was created to commemorate the importance of strengthening international cooperation and migration bilaterally, regionally, and globally.
  • Established in 1951, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) is the lead United Nations agency working in the field of migration and assists millions of migrants every year.
  • More than 281 million people were international migrants in 2020, while more than 59 million were internally displaced by the end of 2021.
  • The world's largest immigrant population lives in the United States.
  • India tops the list in terms of the largest number of natives living abroad with a total of 17.9 million people.

International Migrants Day 2023

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

13. India remains the largest recipient of remittances in 2023: World Bank Report

  • According to the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Report, India with 125 billion dollars remittance remains the largest recipient of remittances in the world in 2023.
  • Mexico (67 billion dollars), China (50 billion dollars), the Philippines (40 billion dollars), and Egypt (24 billion dollars) are among the top five remittance recipient countries in the world.
  • In the South Asia region, remittance flows to India registered a growth. This region witnessed a 7.2 per cent increase in remittances in 2023.
  • Remittance flows to Europe and Central Asia decreased by 1.4 per cent.
  • The report shows continuous growth in remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in 2023.
  • In 2023, remittances to LMICs grew by around 3.8 per cent.
  • Due to global inflation and low growth prospects, real income for migrants could decline in 2024.
  • For the second consecutive year, Middle East and North Africa registered a decline in remittance.
  • As per the report, remittances have crossed the sum of foreign direct investment and official development assistance in recent years.

Topic: Personality in News

14. Sheikh Meshal named the new Emir of Kuwait after Sheikh Nawaf's death.

  • Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah became the new Emir of Kuwait.
  • The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, has died aged 86. He ruled over Kuwait for three years.
  • Sheikh Nawaf was defence minister when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990.
  • Sheikh Nawaf was sworn in as Emir in September 2020 after the death of Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

new Emir of Kuwait after Sheikh Nawaf's death

(Source: News on AIR)

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