Daily Current Affairs and GK | 22 March 2024

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

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Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

1. South Korea hosted the third Summit for Democracy.

  • The third Summit for Democracy conference has been hosted by South Korea.
  • The third Summit for Democracy took place over three days from March 18 to 20.
  • Ministerial Conference, Multi-Stakeholder Roundtable, Civil Society and Youth Event, and Leaders' Plenary were part of this summit.
  • It is an initiative of U.S. President Joe Biden to discuss ways to stop democratic erosion of rights and freedoms.
  • Digital threats to democracy, and how technology can promote democracy and universal human rights were the main agenda of the summit.
  • It was attended by representatives from more than 30 countries.
  • South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said that fake news and disinformation based on AI and digital technology emerged as main threats to democracy.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that authoritarian and repressive governments deploy technologies to undermine democracy and human rights.

Topic: Sports

2. India’s Table Tennis player Sathiyan Gnanasekaran has won the Men’s Singles title at WTT Feeder Beirut tournament in Lebanon.

  • World Number 103 Sathiyan defeated World Number 74 Manav Vikas Thakkar in the final.
  • In the semi-finals, Sathiyan defeated World Number 39 Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-yuan.
  • Sathiyan and his partner Manush Utpal Shah lost 1-3 to a Cuban pair in the men’s doubles final.
  • In the mixed doubles final, Sathiyan lost to Indian pair of Diya Chitale and Manush Shah.
  • Indian paddlers finished the tournament with two titles and three runner-ups finish.

Topic: National News

3. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has announced guidelines for betting and gambling platforms.

  • The Ministry has advised all social media influencers and endorsers to refrain from advertising or promoting of offshore online betting and gambling platforms.
  • The Ministry has also advised them to refrain from surrogate advertisements of offshore online betting and gambling platforms.
  • Further, online advertisement intermediaries have been advised by the Ministry not to target such promotional content towards Indian audiences.
  • Ministry has advised social media intermediaries to carry out sensitization efforts among their users to refrain from publishing such content.
  • Failure to comply with the advisory may lead to proceedings under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
  • The proceedings may include removal or disabling of social media posts or accounts. The proceedings may also include penal action under the applicable statutes.
  • The Ministry has reiterated the advisory issued by the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA).
  • Section 79 of the IT Act, 2000 provides for exemption from liability of intermediaries for third party information.
  • However, according to sub section (3)(b) of section 79, the exemption from liability shall not apply in certain cases.

Topic: Important Days

4. World Water Day: 22 March

  • World Water Day is observed annually on 22 March since 1993.
  • The purpose of World Water Day is to increase awareness of the crisis of water and sanitation and to encourage action toward solving it.
  • The major goals are to increase public awareness of water-related concerns and to motivate individuals to manage freshwater resources sustainably.
  • "Water for Peace" is this year's World Water Day theme.
  • On December 22, 1992, the UN General Assembly initially adopted the resolution that established World Water Day.
  • The first World Water Day was celebrated in 1993. 
  • Related SDG: SDG 6 (Clean water and sanitation for all).

Topic: International News

5. Disposable e-cigarettes will be banned by New Zealand in a bid to prevent minors from taking up the habit.

  • On March 20, New Zealand said it would ban disposable e-cigarettes or vapes and increase financial penalties for those selling such products to minors.
  • The move came less than a month after the government repealed a unique law to phase out tobacco smoking by imposing a lifetime ban on youth buying cigarettes.
  • This unique law was enacted by the previous left-leaning government.
  • Under the new laws, the government will impose fines of up to 100,000 New Zealand dollars ($60,000) on retailers selling vapes to children under 18.
  • While the government will impose a fine of 1,000 New Zealand dollars ($600) on individual sellers.
  • Other rules introduced would prevent e-cigarettes from being sold with images or catchy names that could attract youth.

Topic: International News

6. Vo Van Thuong resigned as President of Vietnam a year after his election.

  • On March 20, the resignation of President Vo Van Thuong was accepted by the Vietnamese Communist Party.
  • In a statement, the government said Mr Thuong had violated party rules, adding that those "deficiencies had a negative impact on public opinion, affecting the party, the state and his reputation personally.
  • The role of the president is largely ceremonial, but it is one of the top four political positions in the Southeast Asian nation.
  • Mr Thuong is the second president in two years to resign amid an anti-corruption crackdown.
  • Vietnam:
    • It is a South-East Asian country.
    • It is known for its beaches, rivers, and Buddhist pagodas.
    • Its capital is Hanoi, and the currency is the Vietnamese dong.
    • Pham Minh Chinh is the Prime Minister of Vietnam.
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Topic: National News

7. Operation Indravati has been launched by India.

  • This operation has been launched to evacuate Indian Nationals from Haiti to the Dominican Republic.
  • External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said that 12 Indians have been evacuated on 21 March.
  • Haiti has been seeing violent gang wars. On 29 February, gangs in Haiti launched attacks across Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti.
  • Haiti declared an emergency on March 3. Ariel Henry, Haiti’s acting prime minister, is currently exiled in Puerto Rico.
  • Haiti is a country on the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean Sea. It is located in the east of Cuba and Jamaica. It is located in the south of Bahamas. Its capital is Port-au-Prince.
  • Dominican Republic is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean Sea, bordered by Atlantic Ocean to the north. Its capital is Santo Domingo.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

8. CBI and the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) signed a working arrangement.

  • This arrangement is for establishing cooperative relations between the law enforcement authorities of these two organisations.
  • CBI Director Praveen Sood and Executive Director of Europol, Catherine De Bolle signed the working arrangement.
  • As a result of this arrangement, direct cooperation between CBI and Europol will be promoted to explore the potential for synergies.
  • This working arrangement also enables cooperation between all law enforcement agencies in India and all law enforcement agencies of the 27 European countries that Europol represents.
  • This will also enable cooperation with all law enforcement agencies in India as well as third countries and organizations associated with Europol.
  • Europol is the law enforcement agency of the European Union. It was established in 1998. It is based in The Hague, Netherlands.  

Topic: Environment and Ecology

9. Environment Ministry made new rules on Biodegradable plastic.

  • The new rules will make it harder for makers of disposable plastic to label products as ’biodegradable’.
  • It defines biodegradable plastics as capable of degrading through biological processes in specific environments, such as soil and landfills.
  • The new rule does not specify which chemical tests can be used to find the presence of microplastics in biodegradable plastics.
  • Microplastics are defined as any solid plastic particle insoluble in water, with dimensions between 1 µm and 1,000 µm.
  • The government promoted the use of biodegradable plastic after the ban on single-use plastic in 2022.
  • Biodegradable plastic is a plastic that is treated before it is sold. It decomposes naturally over time.
  • Compostable plastics are plastics that require industrial or large municipal waste management facilities.

Topic: Space and IT

10. ISRO successfully executed the landing mission of Reusable Launch Vehicle 'Pushpak'.

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) successfully executed a landing mission for its Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) named "Pushpak" from the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) in Karnataka.
  • The launch vehicle was taken off to an altitude of about 4.5 km by an Indian Air Force helicopter.
  • This mission is part of developing the technologies needed for a reusable launch vehicle to enable low-cost access to space.
  •  The Reusable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) is ISRO’s most technologically challenging project.
  • The reusable launch vehicle will help reduce the cost of space missions.
  • ISRO envisions RLV-TD as the first stage of India's reusable two-stage orbital launch vehicle.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

11. The prestigious Maharashtra Gaurav Award presented to Famous Indian dancer Dr. Uma Rele.

  • Dr. Smt. Uma Rele is the esteemed principal of Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya, Mumbai.
  • Maharashtra Industrial Minister Uday Sawant and Minister Deepak Vasant Kesarkar presented this honor to her for her invaluable contribution to the field of Indian classical dance, especially Bharat Natyam.
  • The award was given in recognition of Dr. Uma Rele's remarkable achievements, profound knowledge, and tireless dedication to preserving and propagating the Indian classical dance heritage.
  • The journey of Dr. Uma Relein in the world of dance is marked by dedication, excellence, and unwavering passion.
  • In 2001, she achieved another milestone by completing her doctoral research on 'Nayikas, Heroines of Indian Classical Dance', demonstrating her deep understanding and expertise in the field.

Topic: Defence

12. For the first time, a new Indian-made tank engine tested in Mysuru.

  • On March 20, the indigenously developed 1500 HP engine for main battle tanks was tested for the first time at the Engine Division of BEML Limited in Mysuru.
  • The Defense Ministry said this demonstrates the country's technological prowess and commitment towards self-reliance in defense technologies.
  • The 1500 HP engine represents a paradigm shift in military propulsion systems, with cutting-edge features.
  • It includes a high power-to-weight ratio, and the capability to operate in extreme conditions, including high altitude, sub-zero temperatures, and desert environments.
  • In August 2020, the project was started and is expected to be completed by mid-2025. This engine will power the Arjun MK-1A tank.
  • In September 2021, an order worth ₹7,523 crore was placed by the ministry to the Heavy Vehicle Factory, Avadi, for 118 locally manufactured Arjun MK-1A tanks to sharpen the fighting edge of the Army.
  • The new tank will come with 72 upgrades over the existing variant, which includes 14 major improvements.
  • The upgrade will significantly increase the tank's firepower, mobility, and survivability.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

13. NIXI and MeitY unveiled the BhashaNet portal for digital inclusion.

  • On 21st March, the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) launched the BhashaNet portal for Universal Acceptance (UA) Day.
  • The main aim of the portal is to promote Digital Inclusion across the nation.
  • Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Internet Governance division, MeitY are supporting UA Day.
  • ”BhashaNet: Impetus Towards Universal Acceptance,” is the theme of the event.
  • Keynote addresses, panel discussions, and technical workshops, led by distinguished speakers from various sectors are part of this event.
  • Through UA Day, NIXI and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology aim to unite stakeholders and raise awareness about the importance of UA readiness in today's digital landscape.
  • National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI):
    • It is a not-for-profit company under the aegis of MeitY.
    • Its main aim is to increase internet penetration and to foster internet adoption in India by facilitating various infrastructures.

Topic: Important Days

14. International Day of Forests: 21 March

  • The International Day of Forests is observed every year on 21st March.
  • The main aim of the day is to raise awareness about the critical role forests play in sustaining life on earth.
  • United Nations General Assembly designated March 21 as the International Day of Forests in 2012.
  • UNGA urged governments to coordinate with citizens to conduct various activities, including tree-planting campaigns to protect forests.
  • The theme for International Day of Forests 2024 is Forests and Innovation: New Solutions for a Better World.
  • Forests provide food, water, and shelter for both animals and humans.
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