Daily Current Affairs and GK | 21 March 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 21 Mar 2024 17:19 PM IST

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Topic: State News/ Jammu and Kashmir

1. India’s first battery storage gigafactory will start operating in Jammu and Kashmir by October.

  • This battery storage factory will reduce more than 5 million tons of carbon emissions annually.
  • It will support India’s commitment to achieving net zero by 2070.
  • This facility, with an initial investment of $18.07 million, will be the 7 GWH plant.
  • These projects are crucial for India's target to reach 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.
  • The government is providing incentives worth $452 million to promote battery storage initiatives.
  • These battery storage initiatives will facilitate the storage and utilization of energy from various renewable sources, like solar and wind.
  • This gigafactory aims to establish a fully integrated ecosystem for the production of advanced battery energy storage systems.

Topic: Personality in News

2. Ireland's Indian-origin Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, resigned from his post.

  • Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced resignation from the post and party leadership due to "personal and political" reasons.
  • Irish Prime Minister made this announcement in an emotional statement delivered in Dublin.
  • Leo Varadkar was born in Ireland to a Mumbai-born father and an Irish mother.
  • He became Ireland’s youngest and first openly gay Prime Minister at the age of 38.
  • Varadkar resigned after a defeat in the biggest-ever referendum on proposals to expand the constitutional definition of the family beyond married couples and to remove some sexist language from the Irish Constitution.
  • His resignation will not immediately trigger a general election, as the next one is scheduled for March 2025.

Topic: Corporates and Companies

3. The insurance sector got FDI worth Rs 54,000 crore in 9 years.

  • As the government further liberalized foreign capital inflow norms, the insurance sector has received about Rs 54,000 crore as foreign direct investment (FDI) in the last 9 years.
  • The government increased the permissible FDI limit from 26% in 2014 to 49% in 2015 and then to 74% in 2021.
  • In 2019, the permissible FDI limit for insurance intermediaries was increased to 100%.
  • This has resulted in FDI worth Rs 53,900 crore in insurance companies between December 2014 and January 2024.
  • During this period, the number of insurance players increased from 53 to 70 by January 2024.
  • Insurance penetration increased from 3.9% in 2013-14 to 4% in 2022-23, while insurance density increased from US$52 in 2013-14 to US$92 in 2022-23.
  • Assets under management almost tripled to Rs 60.04 lakh crore compared to Rs 21.07 lakh crore in 2013-14.
  • Total insurance premiums doubled to Rs 10.4 lakh crore from Rs 3.94 lakh crore.
  • The insurance sector was opened to private players with applications invited for registration in August 2000.
  • Foreign companies were allowed ownership up to 26%.

Topic: Defence

4. A history created by Tamil Nadu with India's second privately developed rocket.

  • On March 22, Tamil Nadu will witness history when one of its Chennai headquartered space start-ups Agnikul Cosmos Private Limited launches its first rocket.
  • The rocket Agnibaan Sub Orbital Technology Demonstrator (SOrTeD) will be launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
  • There are many interesting facts about this particular launch of Agnibaan SOrTeD:
    • It will be India’s first launch from a private Launchpad.
    • It will be India’s first semi-cryogenic engine-powered rocket launch.
    • It will be the world’s first single-piece 3D-printed engine designed and built indigenously.
  • Established in 2017, Agnikul Cosmos in December 2020 became the first company in the country to sign an agreement with ISRO to gain access to the space agency's expertise and its facilities to build Agnibaan.
  • In 2022, India's first privately developed rocket, Vikram-S was launched from the ISRO launchpad in Sriharikota.
  • It was developed by Hyderabad-based start-up Skyroot Aerospace Pvt. Ltd. This mission was named Prarambh.

Topic: Corporates and Companies

5. GRID-INDIA achieved Miniratna company status.

  • This is an important milestone that Grid Controller of India Limited (GRID-India) has achieved by attaining the status of Miniratna Category-I Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE).
  • The Ministry of Power has bestowed this recognition, which underscores GRID-INDIA's pivotal role in the nation's power landscape.
  • Grid-India has the critical responsibility of overseeing the flawless and uninterrupted operation of the Indian electricity system, ensuring efficient transfer of electrical power within and across regions.
  • Apart from this, there is an important responsibility to focus on reliability, economy, and stability, as well as to facilitate transnational power exchange.
  • It facilitates affordable and efficient wholesale electricity markets and manages settlement systems.
  • Grid-India comprising five Regional Load Despatch Centers (RLDC) and National Load Despatch Center (NLDC) bears the responsibility of managing the All India Synchronous Grid, one of the largest and most complex power systems in the world.
  • Grid Controller of India Limited (GRID-INDIA):
  • It is a division of the Ministry of Power, Government of India.
  • Previously, it was known as Power System Operation Corporation Limited (POSOCO) changed to Grid Controller of India Limited (GRID-India) on November 09, 2022.
  • It was founded in March 2009 and is headquartered in New Delhi.
  • Mr. S.R. Narasimhan is the Chairman and Managing Director of the GRID-INDIA.

Topic: Important Days

6. World Poetry Day 2024: 21 March

  • Every year World Poetry Day is observed on 21 March.
  • Its main aim is to encourage young poets and appreciate the role of poetry in the development and enlightenment of the world.
  • The theme of World Poetry Day 2024 is "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants."
  • Poetry is an art form that can transform even the most basic of lines into a powerful catalyst.
  • It is observed to honour poets and aware the new generation about the tradition of Poetry.
  • UNESCO announced 21 March as World Poetry Day at its 30th General Conference in Paris in 1999.
  • Poetry is the oldest form of readable and understandable human language.

World Poetry Day 2024

(Source: News on AIR)

Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
February Monthly Current Affairs 2024 January Monthly Current Affairs 2024
December Monthly Current Affairs 2023 November Monthly Current Affairs 2023

Topic: International News

7. India will join US-led co-operative work programme on carbon market.

  • India will join one of the four cooperative work programmes launched under the clean energy pillar of IPEF.
  • India is also considering two of other co-operative work programme initiatives.
  • One is on clean electricity and other is on use of sustainable aviation fuel.
  • India will join the cooperative working group on carbon markets via the Ministry of Power.
  • Bureau of Energy Efficiency will be the nodal body.
  • Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) is an initiative led by US President Joe Biden.
  • It was launched in May 2022. It brings together 14 regional partners.
  • These partners are Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.
  • The four pillars around which IPEF aims to have a common set of rules and standards are connectivity and digital trade, resilient supply chains, clean energy and corruption-free fair trade. 

Topic: Indian Polity

8. The additional charge of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries has been given to Kiren Rijiju.

  • Union Minister Pashupati Kumar Paras resigned from the Union Cabinet on 19 March.
  • His resignation has been accepted by President Droupadi Murmu with immediate effect.
  • Kiren Rijiju is currently having the charge of Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • Pashupati Kumar Paras is the chief of Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party.

Topic: International News

9. CII UK India Business Forum has been re-launched in London.

  • The CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) UK India Business Forum (IBF) has been re-launched on March 19.
  • It has been launched as India and the UK are to finalize a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
  • The objective of this forum is to enhance collaboration and deepen connections.
  • Bilateral trade in goods and services between India and the UK has reached £38.1 billion at the end of Q3 2023.
  • Both countries signed a research and innovation agreement in April 2023 to deepen collaboration in the field of science and Technology.
  • India Business Forum (IBF) will explore joint ventures in emerging sectors as well as collaboration in cyber security, space exploration, and clean energy.
  • CII is one of several organisations that is involved in the U.K.-India trade negotiations.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

10. 2014-23 was the warmest decade ever: World Meteorological Organisation.

  • The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has declared officially that 2023 was the warmest year on record, while the decade (2014-23) was the warmest decade ever.
  • The WMO in its annual State of the Climate Report said that the average surface temperature in 2023 was 1.45 degrees Celsius higher than the average of the 1850-1900 pre-industrial period.
  • The global mean surface temperature between 2014 and 2023 was 1.2 degrees Celsius higher than the pre-industrial average.
  • As per the WMO report, three main greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide touched a new record in 2022.
  • In 2022, Carbon dioxide concentrations reached 417.9 parts per million, which is 150 per cent of the levels in the pre-industrial times.
  • Methane concentration has reached 1,923 parts per billion, which is 264 per cent of pre-industrial levels.
  • Nitrous oxide concentrations reached 335.8 parts per billion in 2022. It is 124 per cent of the pre-industrial level.
  • Ocean heat content and sea level touched a record high and the rate of increase is accelerating.
  • 70 per cent of Earth’s area is covered by water and the rising greenhouse gases generate excess energy which accumulates in the form of heat.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Rankings

11. Finland has become world’s happiest country for the seventh consecutive year according to World Happiness Report 2024.

  • Finland is followed by Denmark, Iceland and Sweden. Israel has also found a place in the top five of the ranking.
  • As per the report, the top 10 countries in the list have not changed since before the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The United States and Germany have declined in the rankings.
  • Afghanistan is the least happy country after Congo, Sierra Leone, Lesotho and Lebanon.
  • The rank of the United States has declined from 16th place last year to 23rd place this year.
  • UK is ranked 20th place this year and Canada occupied 15th place.
  • India is ranked at 126th place. China is ranked at 60th place. Nepal and Pakistan are ranked at 93rd and 108th places, respectively.
  • Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are ranked at 128th and 129th spots, respectively.
  • According to the report, older age is linked with higher life satisfaction in India.
  • As per the report, older Indian women have reported lower life satisfaction than older men.
  • Older adults with secondary or higher education reported higher life satisfaction than their counterparts.
  • Older adults of higher social castes reported higher life satisfaction than their counterparts from scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
  • The report said women were less happy than men in every region and the gender gap widened as they aged.
  • Lithuania, Israel, Serbia, Iceland and Denmark are the top five countries in ranking of happiness in young people (aged 30 and below).
  • In this, Finland is ranked at seventh place and India is ranked at 127th spot.
  • Indian occupied 121st spot in ranking of happiness in old people (aged 60 and above).
  • United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network publishes the World Happiness Report annually. It is based on six factors.
  • These factors are GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and freedom from corruption. 

The top 10 happiness rankings (worldwide)

The top 10 happiness rankings (Asia)








South Korea













Topic: Awards and Prizes

12. Prabha Varma has won the Saraswati Samman literary award for 2023.

  • Mr. Varma is presently Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s media secretary.
  • Mr. Varma has brought the award back to Kerala after a gap of about 12-year.
  • He had been selected for his work, “Roudra Sathwikam” for the award.
  • Saraswati Samman:
    • It was started in 1991. It is sponsored by K. K. Birla Foundation.
    • It is given annually for prose or poetry in any one of 22 languages in Schedule VIII of the Indian Constitution.
    • It includes a plaque, a citation, and a cash prize of ₹15 lakh. It is given for work published within last 10 years.
    • Saraswati Samman was first won by Harivansh Rai Bachchan.

Topic: State News/ Uttar Pradesh

13. Trinetra app 2.0 will revolutionize policing in Uttar Pradesh.

  • Trinetra app 2.0, a cutting-edge platform, will be used by Uttar Pradesh Police.
  • It will transform the landscape of crime prevention and investigation.
  • More than 9.32 lakh criminal records have been digitalized under the Trinetra app database.
  • It will help police officers identify suspects during the security check.
  • Trinetra App 2.0 can be used by all police personnel of Inspector and above rank.
  • Police personnel can input and access comprehensive crime-related information such as crime histories, FIR details, interrogation reports, audio recordings, photographs, etc. through the app.
  • Trinetra app 2.0 will also facilitate the identification of criminals based on voice samples.
  • It will also facilitate the search for missing individuals through photograph linking and facial recognition technology.

Topic: Indian Economy

14. Government decided to impose anti-dumping duty on cast aluminium alloy wheels from China.

  • The definitive anti-dumping duty has been imposed on Cast Aluminium Alloy Wheels or Alloy Road Wheels (ARW) imports from China.
  • The definitive anti-dumping duty will remain valid for five years for the ranges from $ 0.23 per kg to $ 1.71 per kg.
  • Cast aluminium alloy wheels or ARW are mainly used in motor vehicles.
  • High-end cars come with cast aluminium alloy wheels rather than basic steel wheels.
  • Aluminium alloy wheels are more durable, and they need less energy to rotate.
  • The anti-dumping duty on ARW was first imposed in May 2015. It was later extended in 2019 and then in 2022.
  • Anti-dumping duty is a tariff imposed on imports manufactured in foreign countries whose prices is lower than the fair market value of similar goods in the domestic market.
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