Daily Current Affairs and GK | 23 December 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 23 Dec 2023 17:46 PM IST

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Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

1. WHO prequalified a second malaria vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) added the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine to its list of prequalified vaccines for malaria.
  • This vaccine has been developed by Oxford University and manufactured by Serum Institute of India.
  • In October 2023, the WHO recommended its use for the prevention of malaria in children.
  • The R21 vaccine is the second malaria vaccine to be prequalified by WHO.
  • As part of the prequalification process, WHO applies international standards and determines the safety, effectiveness, and standard of vaccines.
  • Malaria:
    • It is spread by the bite of an infected female anopheles mosquito. Infected mosquitoes spread the Plasmodium parasite.
    • It is a preventable and treatable infectious disease.
    • In 1897, Sir Ronald Ross found that malaria among humans is spread by female mosquitoes.

Topic: State News/ Gujarat

2. Gujarat government lifts liquor ban in GIFT City.

  • The Gujarat government exempted the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) area in Gandhinagar from liquor ban to create ‘global business ecosystem’.
  • “Liquor access permits” will be given to owners and employees of companies in GIFT City. These companies can authorize visitors with “temporary permits” for drinking.
  • The relaxation has come just before the launch of the  three-day Vibrant Gujarat Summit.
  • As per the new policy, hotels, restaurants and clubs in the GIFT City area will be given permits for wine and dining facilities.
  • GIFT City has a 261-acre multi-service Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and a 625-acre Domestic Tariff Area (DTA). It is spread over 886 acres.
  • Many corporates like IBM, Bank of America, HSBC, Oracle, Beefree, HSBC, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, and PWC have already set up offices in GIFT City.

Topic: National News

3. French President Emmanuel Macron will be the chief guest on this Republic Day.

  • On December 22, the Ministry of External Affairs said Macron would visit India as the chief guest for the 75th Republic Day celebrations.
  • This will be the sixth time that a French leader will be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations.
  • The choice of guest is guided by several imperatives: strategic and diplomatic, blending business, global geopolitics, and bilateral engagement.
  • As strategic partners, India and France share a high level of similarity on many regional and global issues.
  • This year, both countries are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the India-France strategic partnership.
  • The Prime Minister was the guest of honor at the Bastille Day Parade held in Paris on 14 July 2023.
  • Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in June 1948, India and France have enjoyed close and friendly relations for 75 years.
  • In 1998, India and France elevated their diplomatic relations to a strategic partnership, which completed 25 years in January 2023.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

4. 3 sub-schemes launched by the MSME Ministry under the RAMP program.

  • On 20 December, Three sub-schemes under the aegis of the RAMP (Raising and Accelerating MSME Productivity) program were launched by Union Minister for MSME Shri Narayan Rane.
  • These schemes have been launched to encourage the adoption of sustainable technology in business, promote a circular economy, and address the issue of delayed payments.
  • These sub scheme are: the MSME Green Investment and Financing for Transformation Scheme (MSE GIFT Scheme), the MSE Scheme for Promotion and Investment in Circular Economy (MSE SPICE Scheme), and the MSE Scheme on Online Dispute Resolution for Delayed Payments.
  • The first scheme-The MSME GIFT Scheme aims to help MSMEs adopt green technology with interest subvention and credit guarantee support.
  • The second Scheme- The MSE SPICE Scheme is the first scheme of the government to support circular economy projects.
  • This will help in realizing the MSME sector's dream of zero emissions by 2070.
  • The third Scheme– MSE Scheme on Online Dispute Resolution for Delayed Payments is the first of its kind scheme to coordinate legal support with modern IT tools and Artificial Intelligence to address the incidence of delayed payments for micro and small enterprises.
  • The Ministry is also taking new initiatives under the existing schemes to provide better support to MSMEs.
  • Support for the Commercialization of the IP Program (MSME – SCIP Programme) will enable innovators in the MSME sector to commercialize their IPRs.
  • Additionally, the ministry's ZED scheme has now been made completely free for women-led MSMEs.
  • The government guarantees payment of 100% financial assistance for certification costs under the scheme.

Topic: Important Days

5. National Farmers’ Day 2023: 23 December

  • Every year on 23 December, National Farmers’ Day or Kisan Diwas is celebrated.
  • This day is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of the former Prime Minister of India, Chaudhary Charan Singh, and his contributions towards the upliftment of farmers in the country.
  • The day is also celebrated to appreciate the contribution of farmers to the economy and society and to create awareness about the role of farmers in society.
  • The theme for Farmer's Day 2023 is 'Cultivating the Future: Innovation and Sustainability in Agriculture'.
  • In 2001, the government declared 23 December as Farmers' Day.
  • Chaudhary Charan Singh was the fifth Prime Minister of India from July 28, 1979, to January 14, 1980.
  • He introduced the Debt Redemption Bill of 1939, which provided relief to farmers indebted to moneylenders.
  • He also implemented the Zamindari Abolition Act of 1950, when he was the Agriculture Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
  • He also introduced the Land Holdings Act of 1960, which limited the land holdings of individuals to ensure uniformity.

National Farmers’ Day 2023

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Miscellaneous

6. 2024 has been declared the International Year of the Camelids by the United Nations.

  • This decision has been taken to highlight the vital importance of camelids in the lives of people around the world.
  • “The International Year of Camelids 2024 aims to create awareness of the untapped potential of camelids and advocate for increased investment, more research, and capacity development in the camelids sector.
  • According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), camels impact the lives of millions of households in more than 90 countries.
  • Camelids as a group include alpacas, Bactrian camels, dromedaries, guanacos, llamas, vicuñas.
  • These are ruminant herbivores, their body structure consists of thin neck, long legs and sharp and pointed teeth.
  • They do not have hooves; rather, they have two toes on their feet, which have nails and soft pads.
  • It helps ensure food security, nutrition, and economic development, especially for indigenous peoples and local communities.
  • Camelids are a source of milk and meat that helps people fight hunger.
  • They also provide fiber that can be used for clothing and shelter.


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Topic: MoUs/Agreements

7. Government of India signed an agreement with ADB to get a 100 million US dollar loan.

  • The purpose of the loan is to improve urban services and tourism facilities in Tripura.
  • According to the finance ministry, the project will improve urban water supply systems by installing 42 kilometers of new distribution and transmission pipes.
  • It will also upgrade urban water supply systems by establishing four new water treatment plants.
  • It will also improve 21 kilometers of urban roads.
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB):
    • It is a regional development bank established in 1966.
    • Members: 68 countries
    • Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines
    • Current President: Masatsugu Asakawa

Topic: Awards and Prizes

8. Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) Terminal 2 (T2) has been recognized as one of the 'world's most beautiful airports.'

  • It has been awarded the 'World Special Prize for an Interior 2023' by UNESCO's Prix Versailles.
  • It has become the sole Indian airport to receive such recognition from UNESCO.
  • It has previously received the IGBC platinum certification from the Indian Green Building Council under the IGBC Green New Building Rating system.
  • Prix Versailles awards are given to honor outstanding achievements in the field of architecture and design on a global scale.
  • The Prix Versailles 2023 world judges panel was led by the renowned fashion designer Elie Saab.
  • Phase 1 of T2 was inaugurated on November 11, 2022. It is designed to accommodate 25 million passengers per annum.
  • T2 is referred to as ‘Terminal in a Garden’. It has been designed as a tribute to the ‘Garden City’ of Bengaluru.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

9. Union Minister Bhupender Yadav launched a NITI Aayog report, ‘A Green and Sustainable Growth Agenda for the Global Economy’.

  • A report titled ‘A Green and Sustainable Growth Agenda for the Global Economy’ has been released in the presence of Amitabh Kant, Sherpa, G20 India, and Suman Bery, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog.
  • NITI Aayog published this report in partnership with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Global Development Network (GDN).
  • This report is based on the proceedings of the G20 international conference held in New Delhi on 28-29 July 2023.
  • This report has been released to enable the transfer of knowledge that came out of the G20 international conferences.
  • Union Minister Bhupender Yadav said that “India has pledged to make climate action a collaborative process, based on common but differentiated responsibilities”.
  • The G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration states that implementing of the climate agenda requires several trillion dollars by 2030.
  • The report was launched after a video message from Global Development Network.

Topic: International News

10. United Kingdom to implement carbon border tax on Iron from 2027.

  • After the European Union, the United Kingdom government has decided to implement carbon border tax on iron, steel, aluminium, ceramics and cement from 2027.
  • The amount of tax will depend on the amount of carbon emitted in the production of the imported goods and the gap between the carbon price in the UK and the country of origin.
  • The levy of tax will make sure carbon intensive products like steel and ceramics from other countries face a comparable carbon price to those produced in the UK.
  • This will give confidence to UK industry to invest in decarbonisation.
  • India has opposed the EU’s carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) and lodged a protest at WTO.
  • India argued that this step is against the differentiated approach for developing countries and is not according to the WTO rules or the UN framework.

Topic: National News

11. After the security breach, the Modi government will deploy CISF for the security of Parliament.

  • CISF will take over the responsibility of security of Parliament House from the Delhi Police after a survey of the complex by its experts.
  • After completion of the survey conducted on the instructions of the Home Ministry, a report will be submitted, then initiating the acquisition process.
  • CISF will work in coordination with Parliament security services.
  • On December 20, the Home Ministry had asked the CISF to conduct the exercise so that "regular deployment of CISF security and fire wings on a wide pattern" could be carried out.
  • Officials from the Government Building Security (GBS) unit of CISF, along with fire and response officers of the force, will conduct the survey.
  • Additionally, officers from the existing Parliament Security Team will also be involved in the process.
  • CISF will protect the new and old Parliament complexes and their associated buildings under the force's comprehensive security cover.
  • Following the recent security breach, a committee headed by CRPF DG Anish Dayal Singh is examining the wide-ranging security concerns of the Parliament complex and will provide recommendations to the MHA.

Topic: Sports

12. Olympic bronze medalist Sakshi Malik announced her retirement from wrestling on December 21 in New Delhi.

  • Sakshi Malik last participated in the Commonwealth Games in 2022 in Birmingham.
  • The Indian wrestler won the gold medal in the women's 62 kg category but has not participated in international events since then.
  • Sakshi was born on 3 September 1992 in the Rohtak district of Haryana.
  • At the age of just 17, she won a silver medal in the 59 kg freestyle at the 2009 Asian Junior World Championships, followed by a bronze medal at the 2010 World Junior Championships.
  • She won a bronze medal at the 2013 Commonwealth Championships.
  • Sakshi Malik played her first Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2013 and won a silver medal in the 58 kg final.
  • Sakshi Malik won six medals at the Senior Asian Championships – three silver and three bronze.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

13. Union Minister Smriti Irani inaugurated the National Programme on Anganwadi-cum-Creches in New Delhi.

  • The government is planning to open 17 thousand creches all around the country.
  • The objective of Anganwadi-cum-Creches is to provide quality Creche facilities in a safe and secure environment for children aged between 6 months to 6 years.
  • These crèches will provide nutritional support, health and cognitive development of children. It will also ensure immunization, education etc. of children’s.
  • The central government has also directed state and district officials to identify groups of women construction workers and women farm labourers who can take the benefit of the National Programme on Anganwadi-cum-Creches.
  • Women who work in self-help groups and form cooperatives can play a key role in Childcare.
  • Women and Child Development Ministry will also provide a framework regarding this segment.
  • Women who right now run self-help groups and cooperatives can also run creches as an economic activity.
  • Palna, a sub-scheme under Mission Shakti, was launched in April 2022 to provide daycare facilities and protection to children.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

14. Crompton received the Prestigious National Energy Conservation Award 2023.

  • President Droupadi Murmu conferred the National Energy Conservation Award 2023 to Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Ltd. (CGCEL).
  • Crompton received this achievement in the category of the ‘Most Energy Efficient Appliance of the Year 2023’ for its storage water heater. 
  • Crompton has introduced an impressive range of storage water heaters that have set new benchmarks in technology.
  • This award shows Crompton's commitment to energy-efficient innovations.
  • The award ceremony took place at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
  • Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Limited (also known as Crompton) is an Indian electrical equipment company based in Mumbai.
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