Daily Current Affairs and GK | 21 and 22 January 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 22 Jan 2024 17:36 PM IST

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Topic: MoUs/Agreements

1. Airbus and CSIR-IIP signed MoU on sustainable aviation fuel.

  • Airbus and the CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP) joined hand to develop new technologies and to test and qualify indigenous sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
  • This collaboration will help in achieving Indian aerospace industry’s decarbonisation ambition.
  • It will support SAF production and commercialisation by using a new HEFA technology pathway and locally sourced feedstocks. 
  • The entities will work on technical assessment, approvals, market access and sustainability accreditation efforts for the production of SAF.
  • All airbus aircraft are certified to fly 50% SAF blend. The goal is to achieve SAF compatibility by 2030.
  • Airbus will give guidance on the new fuels evaluation process, fuel testing and aircraft system knowledge.
  • India has the potential to become a global SAF production hub. 

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

2. India and Cuba signed MoU on cooperation in the field of Sharing Successful Digital Solutions.

  • Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of India and the Ministry of Communications of the Republic of Cuba signed the MoU for cooperation in the field of sharing Successful Digital Solutions Implemented at Population Scale for Digital Transformation.
  •  Shri S Krishnan, Secretary, MeitY from India’s side and H.E. Mr. Wilfredo Gonzalez Vidal, First Deputy Minister of Communications, from Cuba’s side signed the MoU.
  • The main aim of the MoU is to promote the digital transformation through Capacity Building programs and exchange best practices.
  • India will collaborate with Cuba on digital transformation leading to a smooth adoption of Digital Public Infrastructure in Cuba.

Topic: Important Days

3. Parakram Diwas 2024: 23 January

  • "Parakram Diwas" (Courage Day) is celebrated on 23 January every year.
  • The day is commemorated as the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
  • On this day in 1897, Netaji was born in Cuttack, Odisha.
  • This year marks the 127th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
  • The day is observed to commemorate his outstanding contribution to India's freedom movement. He is known for his selfless service to the country.
  • In 2021, the Modi government had announced that January 23rd would be celebrated as "Parakram Diwas".
  • On the occasion of Parakram Diwas-2024, a multi-faceted celebration combining historical reflections and vibrant cultural expressions will be organized at the Red Fort in Delhi.
  • The event will be inaugurated by PM Modi on 23 January and the festival will continue till 31 January.
  • During the Parakram Diwas-2024 program, the PM will also digitally inaugurate the 'Bharat Parv' being organized by the Ministry of Tourism to showcase the diversity of the country with Republic Day tableaux and cultural performances.

Parakram Diwas 2024

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Important Day

4. Statehood day of Manipur, Tripura, and Meghalaya: 21 January

  • Every year on January 21, the Statehood Day of Manipur, Meghalaya, and Tripura is celebrated.
  • The three states that attained statehood under the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act of 1971 celebrated their 52nd anniversary of statehood this year.
  • North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act of 1971 became effective on January 21, 1972.
  • Manipur and Tripura were princely states, which were included in India in October 1949. Then the states were given the status of union territories.
  • In 1970, Meghalaya became an autonomous state within Assam.
  • In 1972, Tripura, Meghalaya, and Manipur were given full statehood by the North Eastern Reorganization Act, 1972.
  • On January 21, the statehood day of these three states was celebrated with enthusiasm in Rajniwas, Puducherry.

Statehood day of Manipur

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Books and Authors

5. A book titled 'Fertilising the Future: Bharat's March Towards Fertilizer Self-Sufficiency’ released by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar.

  • On January 17, the book 'Fertilising the Future: Bharat's March Towards Fertiliser Self-Sufficiency' was released, which is written by Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya.
  • The Hindi version of the book is titled 'Urvarak-Atmanirbharta ki Raah.'
  • The book highlights the journey of making India self-reliant in the fertilizer sector under the leadership of PM Modi and the revolutionary changes that have taken place so far.
  • Mandaviya has told in the book that today India is moving rapidly on the path of becoming self-reliant in the matter of fertilizers.
  • India consumes about 3.5 crore tonnes of urea every year.
  • Of these, India has been importing about 70-80 lakh metric tons.
  • Now it is continuously reducing imports and hopes that soon India will become self-sufficient in urea.
  • Apart from this, new urea production plants were also established.

fertilising the Future

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Gujarat

6. Kutch's indigenous date, Kutchhi Kharek, has become the second fruit of Gujarat to get a geographical indication (GI) tag.

  • Kachchhi Kharek got the GI tag from the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks (CGPDT) of India.
  • Earlier this month on January 2, the CGPDT office granted the GI certificate to Kuchchhi Kharek or Kutchi dates after approving an application filed by Kutch farmer producer organization Unidates Farmer Producer Company Limited (UFPCL).
  • In June 2021, the application was initiated by Sardarkrishnagar Dantiwada Agricultural University (SDAU) through Research Scientist CM Muraleedharan.
  • In 2011, Gir Kesar mango was given the GI tag, which is currently grown in the Junagadh, Gir Somnath, and Amreli districts of Saurashtra.
  • In the same year, Bhalia wheat was also awarded the tag, which is grown in the Bhal region adjacent to central Gujarat, and the Saurashtra regions of Gujarat.
  • Today there are about two million date palms in Kutch and about 1.7 million of them are seedling-origin palm trees of native (indigenous) varieties.
  • Possibly, Kutch is the only place worldwide where fresh dates are economically cultivated, marketed, and consumed.
  • This region accounts for more than 85% of the total date of cultivation in India.
  • Date palms bloom in January–February and kharek or fresh dates are harvested in June–July in Kutch.
  • According to the Government of Gujarat, 19,251 hectares (ha) of dates are cultivated in Kutch, which is 94% of the total date cultivation area of 20,446 hectares in the state.
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Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

7. Dr. S Jaishankar co-chaired the 6th India-Nigeria Joint Commission Meeting on 22 January 2024 with his Nigerian counterpart Yusuf Tuggar.

  • External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar arrived in Lagos, Nigeria on 21 January 2024.
  • He is on an official visit to Nigeria from 21-23 January 2024.
  • Dr. S Jaishankar chaired a meeting of Indian Ambassadors in West Africa.
  • He also addressed the Indian community in Lagos. He talked with them about India’s COVID response, economic recovery, ease of living, space achievements, and diaspora concerns.
  • He also met the representatives of Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) in Lagos.
  • He will also inaugurate the 3rd edition of Nigeria-India Business Council meeting
  • India is Nigeria's leading investor. Both are members of the Commonwealth of Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement. In 2018-19, India- Nigeria trade amounted to US$13.89 billion.

Topic: Sports

8. Indian marathon runner Man Singh won a Gold medal at the Asian Marathon Championships 2024.

  • He won the medal with a personal best timing of two hours 14 minutes and 19 seconds in Hong Kong.
  • He defeated China’s Huang Yongzheng with a time difference of 65 seconds in the men’s event. Tiapkin Ilya of Kyrgyzstan came in third place.
  • Man Singh is the 2nd Indian, who has been crowned the Asian marathon champion.
  • In 2017, T Gopi took top honours in Dongguan, China with a timing of 2:15:48.
  • The previous personal best of Man Singh was 2:16:58. He made this record at Mumbai Marathon 2023.
  • Man Singh was included in the Indian contingent at the Asian Games 2023.
  • He finished eighth with a timing of 2:16:59 in the marathon event.
  • In the women’s event, India’s Ashvini Jadhav finished eighth in 2:56:42.
  • In the women’s event, Jyoti Gawate finished 11th with the timing of 3:06:20.
  • Two hours 26 minutes and 50 seconds is the entry standard for the women’s marathon for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
  • Two hours 8 minutes and 10 seconds is the entry standard for men’s marathon for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
  • Shivnath Singh holds India’s national record in men’s marathon with a timing of 2:12:00 in Jalandhar back in 1978.

Topic: Committees/ Commissions/Taskforces/

9. India becomes first Vice Chair of FAO COFI Sub-Committee on Fisheries Management.

  • India will represent Global South Countries in the FAO COFI Sub-Committee on Fisheries Management.
  • The Sub-Committee on Fisheries Management is a forum for discussing fisheries management issues at national, regional and global levels.
  • The main function of the sub-committee is to provide essential technical and policy guidance on fisheries governance and management. It also identifies global issues related to fisheries management. 
  • During the 35th session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI), this sub-committee was established in Rome from September 5 to 9, 2022.
  • This would give a balance and perspective to the global narratives related to fisheries governance and management.
  • For the first time in 57 years, India will serve as a member of the FAO Fisheries Bureau on 'Capture Fisheries'.
  • India is one of the leading fishing nations with over 28 million inland and marine fishers. 

FAO COFI Sub-Committee

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

10. Indian Immunologicals Ltd launched India’s first indigenously developed Hepatitis A vaccine, Havisure.

  • India’s first indigenously developed Hepatitis A vaccine, Havisure, has been launched by a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL).
  • This vaccine has been recommended for individuals who are at risk of exposure or travel to regions with high hepatitis A prevalence. 
  • This is a two-dose vaccine wherein the first dose is given at above 1 year age and the second dose is given at least after 6 months of the first dose. 
  • The vaccine is effective in preventing the Hepatitis A disease and is recommended for children in routine immunization.
  • The Hepatitis A vaccine is used to prevent infection caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV).
  • Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver viral infection. It mainly spreads through the ingestion of contaminated food or water.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

11. An equity investment of ₹5,607 crore was approved by the government to set up two power plants.

  • On 18 January, the proposal for equity investment by two Coal India (CIL) subsidiaries was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for setting up two pithead thermal power plants (TPPs) of 2,260 megawatts (MW).
  • The CCEA approved the total equity investment for both power plants is ₹5,607 crore and the cumulative project cost is ₹21,547 crore.
  • South Eastern Coalfields (SECL) has been approved to set up a 660 MW TPP through a joint venture between the coal miner and Madhya Pradesh Power Generation Company (MPPGCL).
  • The second project is to set up a 2x800 MW Thermal Power Plant by Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL) through Mahanadi Basin Poway (MBPL), a subsidiary of MCL.
  • Equity capital of Rs 823 crore (± 20%) approved by SECL for the proposed 1×660 MW supercritical TPP at Amarkantak Thermal Power Station at Village Chachai, Anuppur district, Madhya Pradesh through a JV of SECL and MPPGCL.
  • Equity capital of Rs 4,784 crore (±20%) approved by MCL for the proposed 2×800 MW super-critical TPP in Sundargarh district, Odisha with an estimated project capex of Rs 15,947 crore (accuracy ±20%) through MBPL.

Topic: State News/ Himachal Pradesh

12. ‘My School-My Pride’ campaign launched by Himachal Pradesh to transform the Government education system.

  • The ‘My School-My Pride’ campaign has been unveiled under the ‘Apna Vidyalay’ program in a move aligning with the National Education Policy (NEP)-2020.
  • Its objective is to revolutionize the quality of education in government schools.
  • This initiative will encourage the active participation of individuals and organizations to adopt schools and contribute to various aspects of students' development.
  • Under the program, stakeholders will be urged to provide career counseling, provide remedial teaching, train students for the examinations, and engage in community support services.
  • The initiative also includes monetary contributions for infrastructure development, program sponsorship, scholarships, and a mid-day meal (MDM) program.
  • Dignitaries, members of Parliament, MLAs, and government officials will be encouraged to adopt at least one government school as a patron, suggest improvements, and stay informed about the progress of the students.
  • Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) will launch an online portal dedicated to the Apna Vidyalaya program, which will ensure transparency, accountability, and real-time monitoring of activities.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

13. Wild Life (Protection) Licensing rules, 2024, has become effective on 16 January.

  • The Union environment ministry issued a notification titled: Wild Life (Protection) Licencing (Additional Matters for Consideration) Rules, 2024.
  • It has granted licenses to trade in certain species, which were previously restricted.
  • The government issued new guidelines for granting licences to stakeholders involved in snake venom, captive animals, trophy animals and stuffed animals.
  • The new amendments in wildlife trade rules have been done for the first time after 1983.
  • As per the 1983 wildlife trade rules, issuing licences to trade in a wild animal categorised under Schedule I or Part II of Schedule II under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 was prohibited.
  • As per the new rules, no licence will be granted for any wild animals specified in Schedule I of the Act.
  • The new notification doesn’t mention why the licensing restriction for schedule II species has been removed.
  • The authorized officers have to consider the capacity of the applicant to handle the business in terms of facilities, equipment and feasibility of premises for the business.
  • Earlier, the government amended the Wildlife Protection Act and merged four schedules of wild animals into two. The total number of schedules has decreased to four from six.

Topic: National Appointments

14. Daljit Singh Chaudhary becomes the new director general of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

  • Senior IPS officer Daljit Singh Chaudhary has been appointed as the director general of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
  • He is a 1990 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre.
  • He was currently serving as the Special Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
  • His appointment has been approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet up to November 30, 2025.
  • The post was vacant after the repatriation of Rashmi Shukla to her cadre state Maharashtra.
  • Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB):
    • It is one of the Central Armed Police Force under the control of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
    • It was formed in 1963.
    • Its motto is “Service, security and Brotherhood.”
    • It is responsible for guarding the Nepal- Bhutan border.
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