Daily Current Affairs and GK | 22 June 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 22 Jun 2024 17:24 PM IST

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Topic: National Appointments

1. Atul Kumar Chaudhary has been appointed as the Secretary of TRAI.

  • Atul Kumar Chaudhary has taken the place of V Raghunandan as the Secretary of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
  • Atul Kumar Chaudhary was currently working as Deputy Director General (DDG) in the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
  • This position was vacant after the superannuation of V Raghunandan on May 31.
  • He has worked in various capacities in Personnel, HR, Administration, Licencing, the Vigilance wing of BSNL and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
  • He will be responsible for forming guidelines and policies, along with the stakeholders in terms of quality of services.
  • Manoj Jain assumed charge as chairman and managing director (CMD) of the Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). His appointment has become effective from 20th June.

Topic: State News/ Uttar Pradesh

2. UP government will bring new policies for conducting recruitment exams.

  • To conduct competitive exams in a free and fair manner, the Uttar Pradesh government is planning to implement new policies.
  • As per the new policy, four agencies will be given the responsibility for conducting the recruitment examinations.
  • Candidates have to go outside their home board (Grih Mandal) to appear for the exams.
  • If an exam has more than four lakh candidates, it will be conducted in two phases.
  • The scanning of OMR sheets will be done by the Commission and the Board itself.
  • The examination centres will be created in two categories. The first category includes Government Inter Colleges, Medical Colleges and Engineering Colleges.
  • Under the second category, examination centres will be created in aided schools.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

3. A new species of snake eel has been discovered by ZSI scientists in Odisha.

  • Scientists from the Gopalpur regional centre of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), located in the Ganjam district of Odisha, have discovered a new species of snake eel from various estuarine ecosystems of the state.
  • The new species has been named 'Ophichthus suryai' in honour of Surya Kumar Mohanty, former joint director of the state fisheries department.
  • Last year, at least six samples have been collected from the Subarnarekha river at Talsara in Balasore district, Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district and Bahuda river near Sunapur in Ganjam district at different times.
  • Anil Mohapatra, who led the discovery, said the new species can be distinguished from its closely allied congeners Ophichthus alleni, Ophichthus zophistius, and Ophichthus altipennis, and other members in this genus.
  • It also has a unique vertebral count and teeth patterns consisting of multiple rows on both the maxilla and mandible.
  • On June 13, this year, the international journal Bulletin of Marine Science published a detailed characteristics of this new species of Ophichthus Suryai.

Topic: Miscellaneous

4. A 4th-century lost city famous for its pearls has been discovered near the United Arab Emirates.

  • Archaeologists have identified a long-lost ancient city on Siniyah Island off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that was famous for its pearling industry.
  • According to the Umm Al-Quwain Department of Tourism and Archaeology, researchers have discovered a collection of ancient residential buildings believed to be part of the historic city of Tu'am.
  • Although Tu'am is mentioned in historical sources, its exact location has never been known.
  • Tu'am is believed to have a history dating back to at least the 4th century, reaching its peak in the 6th century.
  • The city is often mentioned in ancient texts for its pearls. Scholars believe that Tu'am was the capital of a coastal region famous for its pearl fishing industry.
  • Regional conflicts and an epidemic of the bubonic plague that ravaged the Near East, the Mediterranean, and parts of Europe in the sixth century are attributed for the city's decline.
  • In recent years, archaeologists have also unearthed a pearling village and a Christian monastery in the same area on the island.
  • This latest discovery suggests that a very large and important settlement once existed there.

Topic: India and its Neighbours

5. By launching a Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, India and Sri Lanka are strengthening their relationship.

  • On 20 June, a Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) launched by India and Sri Lanka, reflecting the deepening maritime security cooperation between the two sides.
  • External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar was on his first foreign visit to Sri Lanka after beginning his second term as Foreign Minister.
  • The inauguration of the MRCC comes six months after Sri Lanka announced a one-year ban on the entry of foreign research vessels into its waters.
  • The MRCC, which was constructed with a $6 million grant from India, consists of seven unmanned installations in key coastal locations in Sri Lanka: Galle, Arugambay, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Kallarawa, Point Pedro, and Mollikulam.
  • The government-owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) set up the MRCC, which will serve as the nodal centre for search and rescue operations at sea.
  • In March 2022, an MoU for this centre was signed, and Sri Lankan Navy teams have been trained by BEL in Bengaluru and Colombo to operate the MRCC.

Topic: State News / Karnataka

6. The Ninth National Yoga Olympiad (NYO) inaugurated by the Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot in Mysore.

  • Began in 2016, NYO was organized from June 18 to 20 in 2024.
  • The state government is working towards making Karnataka the leading yoga-literate state in India through Har Ghar Yoga.
  • The National Yoga Olympiad (NYO), held in Mysuru at the Regional Institute of Education (RIE) was organised in collaboration with the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the Ministry of Education.
  • NYO was attended by more than 400 students and 100 teachers.
  • The theme of NYO 2024 is 'Yoga for Self and Society'.
  • The aim of the Olympiad is to help develop the understanding of yogic practices and their application in life, which will help in the physical, emotional and mental development of children.
  • It is an inclusive event and students are selected at the district level and participate at the state level to reach the national level. Students also performed yoga as part of the program.
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Topic: National News

7. The law to curb irregularities in competitive examinations has come into effect.

  • The law contains provisions for a maximum jail term of 10 years.
  • It also contains provision for a fine of up to 1 crore rupees for offenders.
  • Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha passed the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024, on February 6 and 9, respectively.
  • The bill was given approval by President Droupadi Murmu on February 12 and it became a law.
  • The Act aims to prevent unfair means in the public examinations conducted by UPSC, SSC, National Testing Agency (NTA), Railway Recruitment Board, and banking recruitment examination bodies, among others.
  • In the Act, there is a provision for a minimum of three to five years of imprisonment to curb cheating.
  • In case of organised crimes of cheating, the act has provision of five to 10 years of imprisonment and a minimum fine of 1 crore rupees.
  • As per the notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the Act has come into force with effect from 21st June 2024.
  • The Act also makes provision for punishment of service providers engaged by the public examination authority for conduct of examinations.
  • They shall be punished with a fine up to ₹1 crore. Proportionate cost of examination shall also be recovered from service providers.
  • They shall also be barred from the conduct of any public examination for four years.

Prevention of Unfair Means Act, 2024

Topic: Awards and Prizes

8. Global Central Banking Award 2024 has been awarded to IRIS Business Services for Technology Services in London.

  • IRIS Business Services Limited is a Global RegTech company.
  • The company was awarded by 'Central Banking', which is a renowned industry publication based in London.
  • In the past two years, the magazine has given three awards to Indian nationals or Indian entities.
  • At the same event, Reserve Bank of India received the "Risk Manager of the Year" award as well.
  • Previously, Governor of the RBI Shaktikanta Das has won 'Governor of the Year' award in 2023.

Topic: National News

9. India launched the first National Additive Manufacturing Symposium.

  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) inaugurated the first National Additive Manufacturing Symposium (NAMS) 2024.
  • The Additive Manufacturing Scenario Report was released and an indigenously developed Additive Manufacturing Machine was unveiled at the event.
  • It is a significant step towards advanced manufacturing technologies.
  • It aims to provide an overview of the additive manufacturing (AM) ecosystem in India.
  • This is built on the National Strategy for Additive Manufacturing (NSAM), released in 2022.
  • It aims to harness the full potential of this transformational technology to promote industrial development, innovation and inclusive growth.
  • At present, seven centres dedicated to AM technologies are operational.
  • Industry associations like ELCINA and ICEA, government ministries, and state representatives from diverse stakeholders participated in the NAMS-2024.

first National Additive Manufacturing Symposium

(Source: DD News)

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

10. India secured 63rd position in the Energy Transition Index.

  • The World Economic Forum has released the Energy Transition Index.
  • India has been ranked 63rd on the Global Energy Transition Index.
  • Sweden has topped the Index, and Denmark, Finland, Switzerland and France are in the top five of the Index.
  • In the report, 107 out of the 120 countries demonstrated progress in energy transition journeys in the past decade.
  • Over the last decade, populous countries like India and China showed an 8% improvement in the Energy Transition Index.
  • With an annual investment of around $10 billion, India is driving the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and the production of green hydrogen.
  • WEF also highlighted India's focus on using energy for income generation and supporting microenterprises through the productive use of renewable energy sources.
  • WEF lauded India’s efforts in clean energy infrastructure, with renewable energy and biomass contributing 42% of its power generation capacity.
  • As per the report, the energy transition for a more equitable, secure and sustainable energy system has lost momentum due to increasing uncertainty worldwide.

Topic: Indian Economy

11. IRDAI has prohibited the promotion of Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) as 'investment products'.

  • IRDAI said Unit-linked or index-linked insurance products shall not be advertised as 'investment products'.
  • Insurers shall specifically state that market-linked insurance plans are not same as traditional endowment policies and carry risks.
  • Similarly, endowment policies that participate (and offer incentives) must explicitly declare that the predicted bonuses in benefit representations are not guaranteed.
  • The risk factors shall be disclosed by all the advertisements of linked insurance products and annuity products with variable annuity payout option.
  • Advertisements for all such products must comply with the standards set by the Advertising Standards Council of India.
  • Insurers shall not issue any press release or statement without making a reference to the life insurance coverage and the associated products.
  • A Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP) is a type of insurance plan.
  • It provides investing opportunities to help you achieve your long-term objectives.
  • It also provides life insurance to safeguard your family's finances in the event of an untimely accident.

Topic: Personality in News

12. David Johnson passed away recently.

  • He is a former Indian pacer. He also played for Karnataka.
  • He made his international debut in 1996. He fell from the fourth-floor balcony of his flat.
  • He played for Indian team in only two Test matches. He played 39 First-Class matches.
  • He was also active in Karnataka Premiere League tournament.

Topic: Indian Polity

13. According to data, MPs are 27 times richer than the average urban family.

  • The candidates who succeeded in 2024 election (even in the 2019 elections) were essentially rich in most parties and their wealth was equivalent to that of the top 10% of urban households in the country.
  • In the 2024 elections, the average asset value of the winning candidates was ₹7.4 crore.
  • Nearly 92% of the winners had assets valued at ₹1 crore or more, while 75% had assets valued at ₹3 crore or more.
  • In 2024, the average asset value of the runners-up was ₹6.25 crore.
  • Approximately 88% of them had assets valued at ₹1 crore or more, while 68% had assets valued at ₹3 crore or more.
  • In 2019, the average asset value of winning candidates was ₹4.8 crore, of which around 95% had assets worth ₹1 crore or more, and 88% had assets worth ₹3 crore or more.
  • The average asset value of runner-up candidates in 2019 was ₹5.4 crore, of which around 85% had assets worth ₹1 crore or more, and 63% had assets worth ₹3 crore or more.
  • The average assets of candidates from the top 27 parties in 2024 were at least ₹1 crore.
  • For the two major national parties, the BJP and the Congress, the values ​​were ₹7.6 crore and ₹5.4 crore, respectively.

Topic: National News

14. PM Modi has prioritized economic security with China over Indian corporate profits.

  • The number of visas issued by India to Chinese citizens has fallen sharply since the border clash in Galwan four years ago.
  • This reduction reflects the Narendra Modi government's increasing focus on national economic security.
  • In the process of thwarting PLA's attempt to enter Indian territory in eastern Ladakh, 20 Indian soldiers, including Colonel Santosh Babu, lost their lives in Galwan.
  • An unknown number of Chinese soldiers were also killed in the clash.
  • Senior officials in the national security establishment and economic ministries said around 200,000 visas were issued to Chinese nationals in 2019, before the pandemic and the Galwan clash of June 15, 2020.
  • This number was reduced to just 2,000 in 2024 after a structural scrutiny of Chinese investments in India.
  • However, the government has issued around 1,500 visas to Chinese nationals in the last eight months - of which around 1,000 have been issued to meet the demands of the Indian electronics industry.
  • In the first five months of 2024, India's trade deficit with China widened to over $38.11 billion, with exports to China standing at just $8.93 billion while imports stood at $47 billion.
  • This happened despite the government's efforts to boost production by reducing corporate income tax and launching a ₹2 lakh crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme across various sectors.
  • However, the Indian electronics sector has reported job losses as a result of visa denials to Chinese workers and business people.
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