Daily Current Affairs and GK | 23 February 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 23 Feb 2024 16:58 PM IST

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Topic: National Appointments

1. President has appointed A S Rajeev as Vigilance Commissioner.

  • Former Bank of Maharashtra Chief Executive A S Rajeev has been appointed as Vigilance Commissioner.
  • Under the CVC Act, the Central Vigilance Commission is a three-member body with a Central Vigilance Commissioner and two Vigilance Commissioners.
  • Praveen Kumar Srivastava has been serving as Central Vigilance Commissioner since May 2023.
  • Central Vigilance Commission:
    • It is an apex anti-corruption government body in India.
    • It was established in 1964 on the recommendation of the K. Santhanam Committee.
    • It was granted statutory status in 2003 under the Central Vigilance Commission Act 2003.
    • The CVC Act does not lay down specific "eligibility criteria" for the appointment of commissioners.

Topic: Indian Economy

2. Mineral Production rose by 5.1% in December 2023.

  • In December 2023, mineral production has grown by 5.1% as compared to December 2022.
  • For the period April to December 2023-24, the cumulative growth of Mineral Production was 8.5 per cent higher than the corresponding period of last year.
  • Magnesite, Lignite, Limestone, Coal, Natural Gas, Zinc, Manganese, Lead, Copper and Bauxite have shown positive growth during December 2023.
  • Production level of important minerals in December 2023 were: Coal 929 lakh, Lignite 40 lakh, Petroleum (crude) 25 lakh, Iron ore 255 lakh, Limestone 372 lakh tonnes.
  • Petroleum (crude) (-1.0%), Gold (-29.9%), Chromite (-30.8%), Phosphorite (-31.2%) and Diamond (-74.4%) showed negative growth in December 2023.

Topic: State News/Uttar Pradesh

3. In Varanasi, Prime Minister Modi unveiled development initiatives valued at over 13,000 crore rupees.

  • The main development projects are the silk fabric printing common facility center for weavers, and the Banas Kashi Sankul milk processing unit in UPSIDA Agro Park Karkhiyaon.
  • The main developmental projects also include different infrastructural works at UPSIDA Agro Park Karkhiyaon.
  • In Varanasi, he laid the foundation stone for the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and new medical college.
  • Additionally, he laid the foundation stone for BHU's National Center of Ageing.
  • He opened the District Rifle Shooting Range and Phase 1 of Sigra Sports Stadium.
  • The Shivpur-Pulwaria-Lahartara Marg was inspected by PM.

Topic: International News

4. India and Denmark have decided to work together to explore new fields for mutual collaboration.

  • These fields include new technology, security, and defense. 
  • At the sidelines of Raisina Dialogue, Danish Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen met External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar.
  • During their meeting, the two Ministers discussed issues of mutual interest that were bilateral, regional, and international.
  • The two ministers launched a combined logo in honor of the 75th anniversary of India and Denmark's diplomatic relations in 2024.
  • Ministers praised the noteworthy results achieved under the Indo-Danish Green Strategic Partnership.
  • They decided that the Green Strategic Partnership's mid-term assessment will be completed as soon as possible in 2024.
  • Additionally, both parties agreed to explore the potential for a Danish contribution to the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative.
  • They decided to work toward improving the Comprehensive Green Strategic Partnership's strategic perspective after the current Joint Action Plan ends in 2026.
  • They signed a mobility and migration partnership agreement between India and Denmark.

Topic: Personality in News

5. Manohar Joshi passed away at the age of 86.

  • He served as Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 1995 to 1999.
  • He served as Lok Sabha speaker from 2002 to 2004.
  • He was a Rajya Sabha member from 2006 to 2012.
  • He served as Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises from 1999 to 2002.
  • He was one of the important and famous leaders of the Shiv Sena.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

6. World's largest snake discovered by Scientists in the Amazon rainforest.

  • In an unprecedented discovery, researchers have discovered an unknown species of giant anaconda in the Amazon.
  • This anaconda can reach a length of up to 7.5 meters and weigh about 500 kilograms.
  • The researchers collaborated with the indigenous Waorani community and conducted the study in the Baihuaeri Waorani region in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
  • Anaconda is a group of large snakes of the Eunectes species.
  • This new species holds the record of the largest and heaviest snake ever recorded.
  • Earlier, only four species of anaconda were recognised, with the green anaconda being the world’s heaviest snake and among the longest.
  • It is commonly found in tropical regions of South America, such as the Amazon, Orinoco, and Essequibo river basins.
  • These anacondas are famous for their fast movements and suffocating methods of wrapping themselves around their prey and swallowing it whole.
  • However, a recent study spanning several decades has shown that the green anaconda comprises two distinct genetic species.

Topic: Space and IT

7. The first private industry Commercial American spacecraft landed on the Moon.

  • A Houston-based company has landed America's first spacecraft on the Moon in more than 50 years. Odysseus spacecraft is built by Houston-based Intuitive Machines.
  • It is part of a new fleet of unmanned commercial robots, funded by NASA.
  • Its purpose is to pave the way for astronaut missions later this decade.
  • The aim of the mission is to explore the Moon's south pole, study environmental conditions, harvest ice for drinking water and rocket fuel, and contribute to the development of a broader lunar economy.
  • Although flight controllers confirmed they had received a light signal, it is not clear whether the lander Odysseus is fully functional.
  • The hexagon-shaped craft approached the moon's south pole at a slow speed of 4,000 miles (6,500 kilometers) per hour at 2323 GMT.
  • Images from the external "EagleCam", which were to have been shot during the final seconds of the spacecraft's descent, may have been released.
  • Odysseus was launched on February 15 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. It has a new type of supercooled liquid oxygen, liquid methane propulsion system.
Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
January Monthly Current Affairs 2024 December Monthly Current Affairs 2023
November Monthly Current Affairs 2023 October Monthly Current Affairs 2023

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

8. Cabinet approves Flood Management and Border Areas Programme (FMBAP) for 2021-26.

  • The Department of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation's proposal to continue the FMBAP with a total outlay of Rs 4,100 crore has been approved by the Union Cabinet.
  • The Flood Management Programme (FMP) component and the River Management and Border Areas (RMBA) component are the two parts of the scheme.
  • The State Governments would get central assistance for undertaking key works relating to flood control, anti-erosion, drainage development, and anti-sea erosion, under the FMP component of the FMBAP with an outlay of Rs 2940 crore.
  • Under the FMBAP's RMBA component, erosion control and flood control on shared border rivers with neighboring nations will be taken up. It has an outlay of Rs 1160 crore.
  • The work under the RMBA component will be completed with 100% central assistance.
  • Primary responsibility of flood management lies with the State Governments.
  • Union Government has decided to supplement the State Governments’ efforts in flood management.
  • Under the Scheme, the States which implement flood plain zoning will be incentivized.
  • Flood plain zoning is a non-structural measure for flood management.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

9. The Rashtriya Udyamita Vikas Pariyojana launched as part of the Skill India Mission by Dharmendra Pradhan.

  • In Sambalpur, Odisha, Union Minister of Education, Skill Development, and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan launched the Rashtriya Udyamita Vikas Pariyojana.
  • Nine cities saw a virtual launch of the campaign. Bhopal, Kanpur, Indore, Varanasi, Bharatpur, Shillong, Silchar, Dibrugarh, and Guwahati are these cities.
  • This National Entrepreneurship Development Project is designed exclusively for PM SVANidhi scheme participants.
  • It emphasizes the government's unwavering dedication to supporting employment providers all over the country.
  • Its goal is to give them thorough training in entrepreneurship.
  • The aim of this project is to improve the competitiveness and adaptability of workers in an era of disruptive technologies by reskilling and upskilling them.
  • Over the course of 22 weeks, complete training in entrepreneurship will be provided under the National Entrepreneurship Development Project.
  • The training will be provided through offline, online and hybrid modes.
  • The PM SVANidhi Yojana participants will benefit from the National Entrepreneurship Development Project.
  • It will enable street vendors and small business owners advance their skills.
  • Flipkart and the Indian government are working together to train small business owners and street vendors.
  • Ten major cities' street vendors will receive training and a stipend as part of the pilot program to help them grow their businesses.
  • The project will initially focus on ensuring 40% participation by women.

Topic: National News

10. Railway Ministry has launched the Annual Capacity Building Plan.

  • Union Minister for Railways, Ashwini Vaishnaw, launched the Annual Capacity Building Plan for his Ministry.
  • The annual plan has been drafted to ensure capacity building and holistic development of manpower.
  • This capacity-building plan has been prepared in association with the Railway Board.
  • The Annual Capacity Building Plan aims to enhance the skills and knowledge of railway employees. It will increase efficiency and improve service delivery. 
  • This plan will focus on the development of organisational capabilities, including the implementation of new technologies, improving customer service, and promoting a culture of innovation and continuous improvement.
  • As of Feb 2023, Indian Railways has a strong workforce of over 11.75 lakh employees.

Topic: National News

11. India’s largest drone pilot training organisation has been launched by IIT Guwahati.

  • IIT Guwahati, in collaboration with EduRade, launched India’s largest Remote Pilot Training Organisation (RPTO).
  • EduRade is a brand owned by RC HobbyTech Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and is incubated at IIT Guwahati Research Park.
  • It is spread over 18 acres and boasts the capability to fly nine medium-class drones simultaneously.
  • The main objective of this pilot training organisation is to promote drone technology in India.
  • A DGCA-Certified Medium Class Drone Pilot Training Course will be introduced by the RPTO.
  • It will help in enhancing the skills of youth in the North East and other regions of India.
  • This Pilot Training Organization will also provide training to women from self-help groups (SHGs) engaged in agriculture and identified under the Namo Drone Didi Yojna.
  • After completion of the course from this training organisation, students will get a Remote Pilot Certificate (RPC) sanctioned by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Topic: National Appointments

12. M R Kumar has been appointed as part time non official Director and non-executive Chairman of Bank of India (BOI).

  • He has been appointed for the post in Bank of India for a term of three years. He is former LIC Chairman.
  • Srinivasan Sridhar has been appointed as part time non official Director and non-executive Chairman on the Board of Indian Overseas Bank (IOB).
  • Sridhar has been appointed for a term of three years. His appointment is subject to the condition that he resigns from the Board of Bank of Baroda.
  • Aravamudan Krishna Kumar has been appointed as part time non official Director and non-executive Chairman on the Board of UCO Bank.   
  • He has been appointed for a period of three years. His appointment is subject to his resignation from the Board of Suraksha Asset Reconstruction Limited.

Topic: State News/ Uttar Pradesh

13. Uttar Pradesh to establish its first ‘turtle conservation reserve' in Sarju river.

  • Uttar Pradesh’s forest department is set to establish a turtle conservation reserve in the Sarju River.
  • Sarju River, a tributary of Ghaghra, in the Gonda district is known for "rich turtle diversity".
  • A 2 km stretch of river Sarju has been proposed for the reserve. It is also rich in species of plants, birds, fish, and water snakes.
  • Sarju is the only river in India where nine turtle species are found. Eight of these are listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act.
  • A management plan for an initial period of 10 years will be implemented for not only conserving turtles but also 30 species of fish and 50 species of birds.
  • The management plan will also lay special emphasis on protecting the river stream from pollution.
  • The population of the endangered crowned river turtle has decreased drastically in the past two decades.

Topic: Important Days

14. World Thinking Day: 22 February

  • It is celebrated annually on February 22 to celebrate friendship, sisterhood, and empowerment of women.
  • It provides a platform for raising funds for the development of 10 million Young Girl Guides and Young Lady Scouts globally.
  • The theme of World Thinking Day 2024 is 'Our World, Our Thriving Future'.
  • The theme is focused on creating a sustainable and inclusive world where girls have the potential to flourish.
  • It is a day to honour the courage, strength, and determination of girls and women worldwide.
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