Daily Current Affairs and GK | 22 February 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 23 Feb 2024 16:23 PM IST

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Topic: Art and Culture

1. Four-day 'Sammakka Saralamma Jatara' tribal festival begins in Telangana.

  • The world's largest congregation of tribals has started at Medaram in Mulugu district of Telangana.
  • 1 crore pilgrims are expected to visit Medaram during this four-day festival.
  • President Droupadi Murmu will also visit this festival on February 23.
  • The Medaram Jatara commemorates the fight of a mother and daughter, Sammakka and Saralamma, against an unjust law.
  • Tribals from Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and parts of Jharkhand come to this festival to celebrate Jatra.
  • In 1998, this Jathara has been declared as a state festival.
  • The celebration begins with the arrival of Saralamma on to the ‘Medaram Gaddhe’- Platform and concludes as Vana Pravesham of Sammakka and Sarakka.

Topic: Defence

2. A multinational military exercise 'Shanti Prayas IV’ started in Nepal.

  • 19 countries, including India, Bangladesh and Pakistan are participating Multinational military exercise 'Shanti Prayas IV’ started in Nepal.
  • It will enhance the interoperability and peacekeeping skills of the forces.
  • Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” inaugurated the two-week-long military drill.
  • The multinational military exercise is taking place at the Birendra Peace Operation Training Centre in the Kabhre district.
  • 1,125 army personnel from 19 countries are participating in this exercise.
  • The exercise is being organised with the assistance of the Global Peace Operation Initiative of the US government.
  • The inaugural multi-platoon training event 'Shanti Prayas' was hosted by Nepal in 2000.
  • The tactical level field training event (FTE) and critical enabler and capability enhancement (2CE) are the key events of this exercise.

Topic: International News

3. India contributed $1 million to the IBSA Fund for poverty and hunger alleviation.

  • India announced to contribute $1 million to the Poverty and Hunger Alleviation Fund established by India, Brazil, and South Africa (IBSA).
  • The IBSA countries - India, Brazil and South Africa - each contribute one million dollars annually to the Fund in a spirit of partnership and support for demand-driven, transformational projects in developing countries.
  • Poverty and Hunger Alleviation Fund of IBSA was established in 2004 and became operational in 2006.
  • The UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) acts as the Fund Manager and Secretariat of the IBSA Fund.
  • Till now, the IBSA Fund has allocated $ 50.6 million to 45 projects across 37 countries of the global South.

Topic: Sports

4. Pakistan's Babar Azam becomes quickest to score 10,000 runs in T20s.

  • Pakistan's Babar Azam achieved the milestone of scoring 10,000 runs in T20s.
  • He achieved this feat in the sixth match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2024 between Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi at Lahore.
  • He scored 10000 runs in T20s in just 217 innings.
  • He left behind Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle who took 299 innings and 285 innings respectively to score 10000 runs in T20s.
  • Australian opener David Warner took 303 innings for 10,000 T20 runs.
  • Babar became the 13th batter to score 10,000 runs in the T20s.

Topic: Personality in News

5. Constitutional jurist Fali S Nariman passed away at the age of 95.

  • He was the additional solicitor general between 1972 and 1975.
  • He had resigned from the post at the time of an emergency.
  • He was appointed a Senior Advocate by the Supreme Court of India in 1971.
  • He argued in several landmark cases, which included the famous case of the National Judicial Appointments Commission.
  • He was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2007. He was given Padma Bhushan in 1991.
  • He was also nominated by the President to the Rajya Sabha in 1999.

Topic: Space and IT

6. In March 2024, the BharatGPT group will launch its first ChatGPT-style service.

  • A preview of the model was provided by the BharatGPT group. The Hanooman is the name given to it.
  • It symbolizes India's competition to create possibly revolutionary AI technologies.
  • Eleven regional languages will be used by the model to operate in four domains: education, financial services, health care, and governance.
  • The model is being built in partnership with Indian Institute of Technology universities. It is supported by Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.
  • Open-sourced AI models for India are also being developed by other startups, including Vinod Khosla's fund and Lightspeed Venture Partners-backed Sarvam and Krutrim.
  • Hanooman will provide consumers with speech-to-text functionality.
  • Reliance is working on Jio Brain. It is a platform that uses Artificial Intelligence across a network of about 450 million subscribers.
  • The BharatGPT group is supported by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. It includes Reliance and eight affiliated universities.
Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
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Topic: Indian Economy

7. Government has permitted 100% FDI in space sector.

  • An amendment to the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy that permits 100% foreign investment in the space sector has been approved by the Center. 
  • Following the Union Cabinet meeting, Minister Anurag Singh Thakur said, the liberalized entry routes under the modified policy are aimed to attract potential investors to invest in Indian space companies.
  • The manufacturing of components and systems or sub-systems for satellites, ground segments, and user segments will be permitted to have FDI up to 100% under the Automatic route.
  • The satellites subsector has now been split up into three distinct activity areas, each of which has set limits on foreign investment.
  • The following are the entry routes for the different activities covered by the updated policy:
    • Upto 74% under Automatic route: Satellites-Manufacturing & Operation, Satellite Data Products and Ground Segment & User Segment. Beyond 74% these activities are under government route.
    • Upto 49% under Automatic route: Launch Vehicles and associated systems or subsystems, Creation of Spaceports for launching and receiving Spacecraft. Beyond 49% these activities are under government route.
    • Upto 100% under Automatic route: Manufacturing of components and systems/ sub-systems for satellites, ground segment and user segment.

Topic: Defence

8. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated Maritime Technical Exposition, MTEX-24.

  • MTEX-24 is a unique feature of MILAN 2024, which is being held in Visakhapatnam.
  • The most recent developments in naval technology are on display at MTEX-24.
  • It is a three-day defence exposition as part of MILAN 2024.
  • It draws attention to India's efforts to become self-sufficient in the defense sector.
  • It displays the most recent developments in naval technology, including shipbuilding, cybersecurity, communication systems, and Indian industry-developed sustainable energy solutions.
  • MTEX-24 is being attended by Indian Naval Organizations, Defense PSUs, and Defense Start-ups.
  • This exposition encourages cooperation and knowledge sharing among researchers, defense experts, and industry executives.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

9. Government decided to continue the Women's safety scheme till 2025-26.

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs’ proposal to continue the implementation of the umbrella Scheme on ‘Safety of Women’ has been accepted by the Union Government.
  • The scheme has been extended with a cost of 1180 crore rupees for the period from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
  • The government will also set up six cyber forensic science laboratories at Pune, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Delhi, Kamrup, and Bhopal.
  • Women's help desks and 827 antihuman trafficking units have been set up at 13,557 police stations.
  • Women's help desks will also be established in the remaining 3,329 police stations.
  • Every year 5000 police personnel will be imparted training for effective investigation and prosecution to curb the crime against women and children. 
  • The 24-hour emergency helpline service 112 will be also scaled up.

Women's safety scheme

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Agriculture and allied sectors

10. Government decided to hike the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane.

  • The Union Cabinet has decided to increase the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane from Rs 315 per quintal to Rs 340 per quintal for season 2024-25 (October-September).
  • The FRP for sugarcane is about 8% higher than the FRP of sugarcane for the season 2023-24. 
  • This announcement is significant, especially for Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra farmers.
  • This decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
  • The FRP of Rs 340 per quintal will be paid at the sugar recovery rate of 10.25 per cent. With each increase of recovery by 0.1 per cent, farmers will get an additional price of Rs 3.32.
  • This decision will benefit more than 5 crore sugarcane farmers and lakhs of persons involved in the sugar sector.
  • 99.5% cane dues of the previous sugar season 2022-23 and 99.9% of all other sugar seasons have been already paid to farmers.

Topic: Sports

11. In the Asian Indoor Athletics Championships, India finished with three gold, one silver, and two national records in Tehran.

  • Athlete Jyoti Yaraji won the gold medal in the women's 60m hurdles with a timing of 8.12 seconds, which is also a new national record.
  • Tajinder Singh Toor won the gold medal in men's shot put with a throw of 19.7 metres, breaking a nineteen-year-old national record.
  • Athlete Harmilan Bains won the gold medal in the women's 1500 meters event and Ankita Dhyani won the silver medal in the women's 3000 meters event.
  • A total of 13 Indian athletes, six women and seven men competed in the eleventh edition of the Asian Indoor Athletics Championships 2024.
  • The Championship was held in Tehran, Iran, from 17 to 19 February.
  • In the last edition, India had won one gold, six silver, and one bronze in Astana, Kazakhstan.
  • In 2004, the Asian Indoor Athletics Championships were held for the first time.
  • The championships are run by the Asian Athletics Association.
  • The championships take place biennially in various cities across Asia.

Asian Indoor Athletics Championships

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: International News

12. An investment of Rs 12,800 crore will be made by Japan for 9 projects in various sectors in India.

  • On 20 February, the finance ministry said that the Japanese government has committed a loan of 232.209 billion yen (about Rs 12,800 crore) for nine projects related to various sectors in India.
  • Vikas Sheel, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, and Suzuki Hiroshi, Ambassador of Japan to India, signed the agreement.
  • The projects include North East Road Network Connectivity, Project for Promoting Start-up and Innovation in Telangana, and Project for the Construction of Chennai Peripheral Ring Road.
  • This also includes the Project for Promoting Sustainable Horticulture in Haryana and the Project for Climate Change Response and Ecosystem Services Enhancement in Rajasthan.
  • The aim of the road network connectivity projects is to improve infrastructure development in the north-east region of India.
  • The aim of the Chennai Peripheral Ring Road project is to reduce traffic congestion and strengthen connections to the southern part of the state.
  • By developing a medical college hospital contributing towards universal health coverage, the project in Nagaland will help develop tertiary-level medical service delivery.
  • In Telangana, a unique project will help in exploring entrepreneurial skills and supporting the business expansion of MSMEs with a focus on women and the rural population.
  • Since 1958, India and Japan have had a long and fruitful history of bilateral development cooperation.

Topic: National News

13. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated India’s first Skill India Centre in Sambalpur, Odisha.

  • This Skill India Center will empower youth with industry-relevant skills.
  • Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan mentioned that introducing low-cost courses at the centre would empower many young people.
  • Around 1200 students will upgrade their skill set to align with the demands of industries.
  • Skill India Centre will offer a blend of classroom and work-based learning. It will nurture young talents to meet industry demands.
  • This centre will equip young Indians with contemporary skills essential for the evolving job market.
  • The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) will be designated as the center manager to monitor the implementation of training programs.
  • It will also oversee the overall functioning of the centre.

Topic: State News/ Ladakh

14. 'World's highest frozen lake marathon' has been organised on Pangong Tso, Ladakh.

  • The event was organized to raise awareness about the melting Himalayan glaciers issue.
  • About 120 runners from seven countries took part in Ladakh's Pangong Lake marathon.
  • The marathon run has been titled 'theastrun’ means that this might be the last run on the frozen lake.
  • The event has been organised as part of the Center's 'Vibrant Village Programme'.
  • The marathon was organized in two categories: 21 kilometres and 10 kilometres.
  • Ravinder Kumar, Secretary of Sports, was the chief guest of the event.
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