Daily Current Affairs and GK | 19 January 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 19 Jan 2024 17:28 PM IST

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Topic: International News

1. Pakistan carried out military strikes on separatist targets in Iran.

  • After the Iranian airstrike inside Pakistan's territory, Pakistan retaliated with a military strike on separatist targets in Iran.
  • Iran conducted strikes on Pakistan’s Balochistan province in which two children were killed and several others were wounded.
  • The exchange of military strikes between Iran and Pakistan has escalated tension in the Middle East.
  • Iran and Pakistan share a border of about 900 kilometres. Pakistan’s Balochistan province shares borders with Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan provinces.
  • It was the first air strike on Iranian soil since the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.
  • Why Iran and Pakistan are fighting?
    • Iran alleged that the Sunni militant Jaish al-Adl group has links with Islamic State and played a key role in the January 3 bombing in Kerman, Iran.
    • January 3 bombing killed around 100 people at a ceremony in the southeastern Iranian city of Kerman.
    • Jaish al-Adl group is present on both sides of the Iran-Pakistan border. Its ultimate goal is the independence of Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province.
    • Pakistan is a Sunni-majority country while Iran is a Shia country. Religious differences have also enlarged the gap between the two countries.

Topic: State News/ Andhra Pradesh

2. CM Jagan Mohan Reddy unveiled the statue of social justice in Vijayawada.

  • On 19th January, CM Jagan Mohan Reddy inaugurated the statue of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, in Vijayawada. It has been named the statue of Social Justice.
  • The Andhra Pradesh government erected the 206-foot Mahashilpam of Ambedkar. This is the tallest statue of B.R. Ambedkar in the world.
  • The statue was constructed on an 81-foot pedestal and is 125 feet tall.
  • Dr B.R. Ambedkar took the education to depressed classes and revolted against untouchability and authoritarian ideas.
  • Dr B R Ambedkar:
  • He was an Indian jurist, economist, politician, and social reformer.
  • He was the chairman of the drafting committee of the Constitution.
  • He is also known as the “Father of the Constitution of India”.
  • He was the first Law Minister of India. He had started the Dalit Buddhist Movement in India.

Topic: Agriculture and Allied Sector

3. In 2022-23, India is estimated to harvest 355.35 metric tonnes of horticulture crops.

  • According to agriculture ministry data released on January 18, the country is estimated to harvest 355.35 million tonnes of horticulture crops in the 2022-23 crop year, about 8.07 million tonnes more than the previous year.
  • The ministry has come out with the third post-harvest production estimate of horticulture crops for 2022-23.
  • Out of the total horticulture production, fruit production increased from 107.51 million tonnes last year to 109.53 million tonnes in 2022-23.
  • Vegetable production also increased from 209.14 million tonnes in the said period to 213.88 million tonnes in 2022-23.
  • Potato production is estimated to increase to 60.22 million tonnes in the crop year 2022-23, compared to 56.18 million tonnes last year.
  • Tomato production during the said period is estimated to be slightly lower at 20.37 million tonnes as against 20.69 million tonnes.
  • There has been a slight upward revision in overall horticulture production from the second estimate of 351.92 million tonnes for the crop year 2022-23.
  • Area coverage under horticulture crops has increased marginally to 28.34 million hectares in the crop year 2022-23 from 28.04 million hectares in the last year.

Topic: Sports

4. On January 19, the sixth edition of the Khelo India Youth Games formally inaugurated by PM Modi.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on his three-day Tamil Nadu tour from January 19.
  • Most of the indoor and outdoor games will be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai from January 19 to 31.
  • This is the first time that the Khelo India Youth Games are being held in South India.
  • The games will be played in the four cities of Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Madurai, Trichy, and Coimbatore.
  • Some sports, like cycling, gymnastics, swimming, hockey, shooting, yoga, and wrestling, will be played at various other venues in the city and suburban areas.
  • Malla Khamb and Kalaripayattu will be played in Trichy from the 21st to the 29th of January.
  • Gatka and Kho Kho will be played in Madurai from the 21st to the 30th of January. Basketball and Thang Ta will be played in Coimbatore from 21 to 30 January.
  • The logo of the games includes the figure of the poet Thiruvalluvar. On the other hand, 'Veera Mangai' is the mascot of the games.
  • Rani Velu Nachiyar, fondly known as Veera Mangai, was an Indian queen who waged a war against British colonial rule.
  • In this edition of the Khelo India Youth Games, over 5,600 athletes are participating across 13 days across 15 venues with 26 sporting disciplines, over 275 competitive events, and 1 demo sport.

Khelo India Youth Games

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Awards and Prizes

5. The ICAI Award was presented to REC for Excellence in Financial Reporting for FY 2022-23.

  • REC Limited has been awarded the 'Plaque' under the 'Financial Services Sector (other than Banking and Insurance)' category at the ICAI Awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the financial year 2022-23.
  • This is the only award given by ICAI under this category.
  • The selection has been made based on the company's accounting practices, disclosure policies, and presentation of financial statements, with Indian Accounting Standards, statutory guidelines, and regulations.
  • REC Director (Finance) Shri Ajoy Chaudhary and others received the award from the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Shri Vishnu Dev Sai at a function held in Raipur.
  • Recently, REC was awarded the 'Golden Peacock Award' by the Institute of Directors (IoD) for its exceptional performance in risk management.
  • Apart from this, the REC was awarded the 'Best Central PSU' award in the Financial Services category at the Dun & Bradstreet PSU Awards 2023.
  • Since the year 1958, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India through its Research Committee has been conducting the ICAI Awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting.
  • The award is given to recognize and encourage excellence in the preparation and presentation of financial and non-financial information in annual reports by entities in various sectors.
  • Established in 1969, REC Limited is a Maharatna Public Sector Unit and a leading NBFC under the Ministry of Power.
  • It provides financial assistance to State Electricity Boards, State Governments, Central and State power utilities, independent power producers, rural power cooperatives, and private sector utilities.

Topic: Sports

6. Indian captain Rohit Sharma became the first player to score five centuries in T20 international matches.

  • On 17 January, he scored an unbeaten 121 against Afghanistan in the third and final match of the three-match series at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
  • With this century, he left compatriot Suryakumar Yadav and Australia's Glenn Maxwell behind in the race for most centuries in T20.
  • Both Surya and Maxwell have scored four centuries each in the shortest format of the game.
  • Rohit joined compatriots Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar as the Indians top the list of batsmen with the most centuries in each game format.
  • Sachin has made 51 centuries in Test cricket, Kohli 50 in ODI cricket, and Rohit 5 in T20 cricket.
Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
December Monthly Current Affairs November Monthly Current Affairs
October Monthly Current Affairs September Monthly Current Affairs

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

7. 19th NAM summit started in Uganda’s Kampala on 19 January 2024.

  • External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar is leading the Indian delegation.
  • Minister of State for External Affairs, Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh is representing India at the NAM Foreign Ministers’ meeting.
  • The NAM Foreign Ministers’ meeting will precede the NAM Summit.
  • Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri V. Muraleedharan will represent India at the G-77 Third South Summit.
  • G-77 Third South Summit will be held in Kampala on 21-22 January.
  • Dr. Jaishankar will then go to Nigeria on an official visit on 21st January.
  • He will co-chair the 6th India-Nigeria Joint Commission Meeting with his counterpart.
  • Non-Aligned Movement (NAM):
    • Uganda is chairing the Non-Aligned Movement on behalf of Africa for the period 2022 to 2025.
    • The concept of NAM emerged in the backdrop of World War II.
    • The leaders of Yugoslavia, Egypt, India, Ghana and Indonesia agreed on the principles at the Bandung Conference in 1955.
    • The first conference was held in Belgrade in 1961.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

8. Bangalore and Delhi airports jointly won the Best Airport award.

  • Both airports jointly won the award at the 4th edition of “Wings India Awards” in the Civil Aviation Sector.
  • Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia presented the Wings India Awards 2024 at an event organized in Hyderabad.
  • Vistara won the Best Airline of the Year award. Air India has been recognised for International Connectivity.
  • Alliance Air has been recognized for Regional Connectivity.
  • Air India Express was declared a Sustainability Champion.
  • GMR Group has been honoured as the Best Aviation Service Provider.
  • Skyways Air Services has been honoured for cargo services.
  • Indian Oil Skytanking Pvt. Ltd has been honoured for Fuel Services and GMR has been honoured for Aero Academy.

Topic: National News

9. Union Cabinet approved three Joint secretary-level posts for the Finance Commission.

  • Two posts of Joint Secretary and one post of Economic Adviser have been created by the government for the 16th Finance Commission.
  • Arvind Panagariya has been appointed as the Chairman of the 16th Finance Commission. Ritwik R Pandey will be the Secretary to the commission.
  • The Finance Ministry has invited applications for the appointment of various officers and employees to the commission.
  • The 16th Finance Commission will submit its report by October 31, 2025.
  • It will suggest tax devolution between the Centre and States and revenue augmentation measures for five years commencing April 1, 2026.
  • The Finance Commission is a constitutional body to give suggestions on Centre-State financial relations.

Topic: MoUs /Agreements

10. MoI between India and the Netherlands for cooperation in Medical Products Regulation has been approved by the Union Cabinet.

  • The Memorandum of Intent (MoI) was signed on 7th November 2023 between India and the Netherlands on cooperation in the field of Medical Products Regulation.
  • The MOI seeks to establish a framework for cooperation and exchange of information between the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, Kingdom of the Netherlands.
  • This MOI will promote the export of medical products.
  • This MOI between both countries will also facilitate a better understanding of medical product regulation about pharmaceuticals including raw materials for pharmaceutical use, biological products, medical devices, etc.
  • Union Cabinet also approved a Memorandum of Understanding between India Dominican Republic on cooperation in the field of Medical Products Regulation.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

11. 'One Vehicle, One Fastag' initiative launched by the National Highways Authority of India.

  • The 'One Vehicle, One FASTag initiative has been launched to increase the efficiency of the electronic toll collection system and provide a seamless movement facility at toll plazas.
  • The initiative aims to discourage user behavior, such as using a single FASTag for multiple vehicles or linking multiple FASTags for a particular vehicle.
  • NHAI is also encouraging FASTag users to complete the latest FASTag 'Know Your Customer' (KYC) process by updating the KYC as per the Reserve Bank of India guidelines.
  • After January 31, 2024, Fastags with incomplete KYC along with outstanding funds will be deactivated/blacklisted by banks.
  • NHAI has taken this initiative following recent reports of multiple FASTags being issued for a particular vehicle and FASTags being issued without KYC in violation of the Reserve Bank of India order.
  • Additionally, FASTag is sometimes deliberately not affixed to the windscreen of the vehicle, resulting in unnecessary delays at toll plazas and inconvenience to other National Highway users.
  • FASTag has revolutionized the electronic toll collection system in the country with a penetration rate of about 98% and more than 8 crore users.

Topic: Art and Culture

12. India will include Persian as one of the 9 classical languages.

  • Under the new education policy, the Government of India has decided to include Persian (Farsi) as one of the nine classical languages of India.
  • It was announced by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, which is a significant move to deepen cultural ties. S Jaishankar was on a two-day visit to Iran.
  • It will strengthen the cultural, literary, and linguistic ties between Iran and India.
  • This recognition reflects the commitment to promote greater understanding and appreciation of the rich heritage of Persia within the Indian educational framework.
  • In 2004, Tamil was the first language in India to be granted the status of a classical language.
  • Sanskrit (2005), Kannada (2008), Telugu (2008), Malayalam (2013), and Odia (2014) are other languages declared as classical languages in India by the Central Government.
  • In addition to these classical languages, Pali, Persian, and Prakrit languages will be preserved, according to India's National Education Policy 2020.
  • All classical languages are listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

Topic: Art and Culture

13. Remains of human settlement dating back to 800 BCE have been found in Vadnagar, Gujarat.

  • Around 2,800 years old human settlement remains have been found in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s village in Vadnagar, Gujarat.
  • The study was conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), and Deccan College.
  • The evidence shows that human settlement was contemporary to late-Vedic/pre-Buddhist Mahajanapadas or oligarchic republics.
  • The research shows that severe climatic changes, such as droughts, were a major factor in the rise and fall of various kingdoms.
  • The repeated invasions from Central Asia were also one of the factors in the decline of various kingdoms.
  • Vadnagar was a multicultural and multireligious settlement. Excavation shows the presence of seven cultural stages.
  • The period between the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilisation and the emergence of the Iron Age is considered a Dark Age by archaeologists.
  • The findings were published in the prestigious Elsevier journal Quaternary Science Reviews.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

14. Former CJI Ranjan Gogoi will receive Assam's highest civilian award.

  • Former Chief Justice of India and Rajya Sabha MP Ranjan Gogoi will be conferred with the highest civilian award of Assam, the 'Assam Baibhav'.
  • The award will be presented on February 10.
  • “In the first year, the award was presented to Ratan Tata. In 2023, the award was given to Tapan Saikia.
  • Ranjan Gogoi is the first judge from Northeast India to become Chief Justice of India.
  • This award recognises his exceptional efforts to expand the delivery of justice and enrich jurisprudence.
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Evolution and History of the Indian Constitution Preamble of the Indian Constitution
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