Daily Current Affairs and GK | 26 June 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 26 Jun 2024 17:39 PM IST

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Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

1. Government launched Safai Apnao, Bimaari Bhagao initiative under SBM-U 2.0.

  • The Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 under the aegis of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched the Safai Apnao, Bimaari Bhagao (SABB) initiative.
  • The main aim of the initiative is to enhance the preparedness of Urban Local Bodies before heavy rainfall.
  • This initiative calls for comprehensive interventions focusing on swachhata, and inter-departmental convergence to be implemented by all ULBs.
  • Cleanliness drives, collection and transportation of waste, regular cleaning of all community and public toilets, sanitation and hygiene facilities for children, etc. are the key elements of the Safai Apnao, Bimaari Bhagao initiative.
  • Rapid assessments to identify high-risk areas, adoption of Protect Prevent Treat Strategy (PPTS) and coordination & monitoring will be part of this initiative.

Topic: State News/Madhya Pradesh

2. MP government has approved the setting up of one Prime Minister College of Excellence in all districts of state.

  • On 1 July, the Prime Minister College of Excellence will be inaugurated ceremonially in all 55 districts of Madhya Pradesh.
  • MP CM Dr Mohan Yadav said that a drone policy will also be made in the state.
  • CM directed officials to make sure better teaching arrangements keeping in mind the rising employment opportunities in aviation, agriculture, and artificial intelligence.
  • The setting up of Prime Minister College of Excellence has been approved by MP government under the National Education Policy.
  • MP CM said that ‘Bhartiya Gyan Parampara Kendra’ will also be set up in each PM College of Excellence. It will be the Centre of Traditional Indian Knowledge.
  • Vidyavans, or educational gardens, will be developed in all government, non-government, and aided colleges.
  • They will be developed to increase awareness about environmental protection amongst students in Madhya Pradesh.

Topic: Sports

3. Bharat Centre of Olympic Research and Education (BCORE) has been inaugurated.

  • Rashtriya Raksha University celebrated Olympic Day on June 23, 2024, with the inauguration of BCORE.
  • The inauguration was held at the RRU Campus in Lavad - Dehgam, Gandhinagar.
  • BCORE was inaugurated by Dr. PT Usha, President Indian Olympic Association and others.
  • Highlights of the inauguration included inauguration of 1st Olympic Research Centre.
  • BCORE is designed to promote excellence in the Olympics throughout India.
  • BCORE stands as the first of its kind in India and South Asia, and the 71st Centre in the world.
  • This year, the theme for Olympic Day was 'Let's Move and Celebrate'.

Topic: Indian Economy

4. India’s external debt stood at $ 663.8 billion at end-March 2024.

  • India’s external debt recorded an increase of $ 39.7 billion over its level at end-March 2023, according to RBI data.
  • The external debt to GDP ratio stood at 18.7 per cent at end-March 2024. It declined from 19.0 per cent at end-March 2023.
  • According to the RBI, the external debt at the end of March 2024 would have climbed by $48.4 billion over the end of March 2023 if the valuation effect had not been taken into account.
  • The rise of the US dollar in relation to the Indian rupee and other major currencies including the yen, the euro, and SDR resulted in a valuation effect of $8.7 billion.
  • Debt denominated in US dollars continued to make up the majority of India's external debt. Its share at the end of March 2024 was 53.8%.
  • It was followed by debt denominated in the Indian rupee, yen, SDR, and euro.
  • According to RBI data, as of March 2024, the overall government debt increased 11.5% year over year.
  • On the other hand, there was a 16.5% reduction in households and nonprofit institutions serving households.
  • At 37.4% of total external debt, non-financial firms held the largest share of outstanding debt.
  • With a percentage of 33.4%, loans continued to be the biggest part of external debt.
  • After loans, the following categories were money and deposits (23.3%), debt securities (17.3%), and trade credit and advances (17.9%).

Topic: International News

5. US declared Kenya a major non-NATO ally, which would enhance defence and security cooperation.

  • Kenya designated by the United States as its major non-NATO ally (MNNA).
  • The MNNA status is a designation under US law that offers foreign partners specific benefits in the fields of defence trade and security cooperation, according to a memorandum released by the White House.
  • During Kenyan President William Ruto's three-day visit to the US in May, President Biden pledged to designate Kenya as a major non-NATO ally.
  • The MNNA designation is a powerful symbol of the United States' close relationship with those countries, as per to the US Department of State.
  • Although MNNA status confers military and economic privileges, it does not carry any security commitments to the designated country.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

6. International Workshop on Global Navigation Satellite System based Tolling organised by NHAI.

  • A one day international workshop on ‘Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) based Electronic Toll Collection in India’ was organized by Indian Highway Management Company Limited (IHMCL), an NHAI promoted company in New Delhi.
  • It was organised to provide seamless and hassle-free tolling experience to the motorists on National Highways.
  • This international workshop provided a unique platform to both industry and global experts to discuss various aspects related to the smooth implementation of free-flow tolling system based on GNSS technology in India.
  • Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari was the chief guest on the occasion.
  • The day-long workshop saw several panel discussions.
  • These covered topics such as On-Board Units (OBUs), commercial vehicle and national highway fee rules, toll charger software, role of issuing entity and road infrastructure requirements for successful implementation of multi-lane free flow Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) based electronic toll collection in India.
  • NHAI plans to implement GNSS-based electronic toll collection (ETC) system within the existing FASTag ecosystem.
  • It will initially use a hybrid model, where both RFID-based ETC and GNSS-based ETC will operate simultaneously.
  • Dedicated GNSS lanes will be available at toll plazas, allowing vehicles using GNSS-based ETC to pass through smoothly.
  • As GNSS-based ETC becomes more widespread, all lanes will eventually be converted to GNSS lanes.

Global Navigation Satellite System

(Source: News on AIR)

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Topic: Indian Polity

7. Rahul Gandhi will be the leader of the opposition (LoP) in the 18th Lok Sabha.

  • The Lower House will have an official LoP again after a 10-year break since 2014.
  • The announcement was made by Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal. Rahul Gandhi is a MP from Raebareli.
  • Since no opposition party held the necessary minimum of 10% of the total Lok Sabha seats, the position of LoP had remained empty for the previous ten years.
  • The leader of the largest opposition party having more than one-tenth seats of the total strength of the Lok Sabha is recognised as the leader of the Opposition.
  • He will serve on various committees such as Public Accounts (Chairman), Public Undertakings, Estimates and several Joint Parliamentary Committees.
  • He has the right to serve on a number of selection committees that choose the heads of statutory organisations such as the NHRC, the Lokpal, the CBI, the Central Vigilance Commission, and the Central Information Commission.
  • The Salaries and Allowances of Leader of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977 granted statutory status to the leader of opposition in each of the Houses.
  • They are eligible to benefits such as a cabinet minister's salary, allowances, and other benefits.
  • The Constitution makes no mention of the office of the leader of the opposition.

Topic: State News/Ladakh

8. Under the ULLAS-Nav Bharat Saaksharta Karyakram, Ladakh has become the first administrative entity to attain complete functional literacy.

  • This announcement was made by Lieutenant Governor Dr. BD Mishra at a ceremony held at Sindhu Sanskritik Kendra in Leh.
  • Over 97% of people in the Union Territory are literate.
  • A centrally sponsored programme called ULLAS, also known as the New India Literacy Programme (NILP) or Nav Bharat Saaksharta Karyakram, is being implemented from 2022 to 2027.
  • It is in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020's recommendations.
  • It seeks to empower persons from all backgrounds who are 15 years of age and older who were not able to complete their education.
  • Additionally, it seeks to integrate them into society so they can further contribute to the nation's progress.
  • It covers five key components. These are foundational literacy and numeracy, critical life skills, basic education, vocational skills, and continuing education.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

9. Urban Affairs Ministry is planning to revamp the affordable housing scheme.

  • The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) is a scheme for affordable housing for the urban poor.
  • It was launched in 2015 and has been extended till December 2024.
  • Its main objective is to address the shortage of urban housing among the poor and middle-income group people living in slums.
  • Urban Affairs Ministry had also announced a scheme ‘Special Assistance to States for Capital Investment 2023-24 and 2022-23’.
  • Its main aim is to improve and speed up the basic urban planning ecosystem in the cities by incentivizing the State.
  • Under this scheme, around 50000 dwelling units have been constructed in the last four to five years.
  • Around 44000 dwelling units have been constructed in five states: Assam, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana and Rajasthan.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

10. Dr. Jitendra Singh launched the "One Week One Theme" (OWOT) campaign.

  • The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the AIIMS will run the "One Week One Theme" (OWOT) campaign from June to December 2024.
  • This campaign will showcase the recent success stories of India in different streams of science and technology.
  • This campaign will show projects that promote innovation, create employment opportunities, and showcase CSIR’s research and development work.
  • The main aim of the initiative is to promote the achievements of CSIR laboratories and foster collaboration with industry.
  • Dr. Jitendra Singh said that progress in the Deep-Sea mission, Aroma Mission, millet economy, Bio-economy and next-generation technology will help the Indian economy grow faster and become the 4th largest.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

11. National STOP Diarrhoea Campaign 2024 was launched by JP Nadda.

  • On June 24, the National Stop Diarrhoea Campaign 2024 was launched by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda at a function in New Delhi.
  • He launched the campaign by distributing oral rehydration salts (ORS) and zinc tablets to children.
  • The two-month long campaign will begin from July 1 and will continue till August 31.
  • The goal of the Stop Diarrhoea campaign is to reduce child deaths due to childhood diarrhoea to zero.
  • The existing diarrhoea strategy involved a two-week campaign, while the new strategy involves a two-month campaign.
  • Under this, children up to five years of age will be given ORS solution and zinc tablets.
  • This will also include extensive IEC through various platforms and cooperation in multiple sectors including health, water and sanitation, education and rural development.

Diarrhoea Campaign 2024

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Important Days

12. International Day of Women in Diplomacy 2024: 24 June

  • Every year on 24 June, the International Day of Women in Diplomacy is observed.
  • The day is celebrated to recognize the important role of women in shaping international relations and promoting peace.
  • In 2022, the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared, by consensus, 24 June of each year as the International Day of Women in Diplomacy.
  • Women have played vital roles in the United Nations since the drafting and signing of the UN Charter in 1945.
  • India's Hansa Mehta (a feminist leader, activist and diplomat from India) honored by UNGA President Dennis Francis on International Day for Women in Diplomacy.
  • She succeeded in changing the phrase “All men are born free and equal” to “All human beings are born free and equal” in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • She led the drafting of the "Indian Charter of Women's Rights", which demanded gender equality, civil rights and justice for women in India as president of the All India Women's Conference (AIWC) in 1946.

International Day of Women in Diplomacy 2024

(Source: DD News)

Topic: National News

13. Government aims to raise 96000 crore from the 5G Spectrum Auction.

  • The auction for 5G spectrum to telecom service providers has begun.
  • 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100 MHz, 2,300 MHz, 2,500 MHz, 3,300 MHz, and 26 GHz band frequencies auctioning have been started by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT)
  • In this round of spectrum auctions, the DoT has excluded the 600 MHz and 700 MHz bands.
  • The spectrum obtained in this auction will remain valid for 20 years. Telecom companies can share, trade, lease, or surrender the spectrum after 10 years.
  • For this auction, a total of Rs 4,350 crore as earnest money has been submitted by Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea.
  • The department has also increased reserve prices by 12 per cent and 8.9 per cent for the 3,300 MHz and 26 GHz bands, respectively
  • The DoT has allocated eligibility points to Airtel at 7,613, Vodafone Idea at 2,200, and Reliance Jio at 21,363.
  • For this auction, the invitation was issued on March 8 of this year. The auction was initially scheduled for May 20.

Topic: National Appointments

14. Anuj Tyagi will assume the charge as MD & CEO of HDFC Ergo from July 1.

  • Anuj Tyagi will be the new Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HDFC Ergo General Insurance from July 1, 2024.
  • He will replace Ritesh Kumar, who was the MD & CEO of HDFC Ergo General Insurance since 2008.
  • Anuj Tyagi joined the company in 2008. He was serving as the Deputy MD.
  • This appointment is subject to administrative approvals and consent of the Supervisory Board of ERGO International.
  • In another appointment, Girija Subramanian has been appointed as CMD of New India Assurance Company.
  • Her appointment has become effective from June 19, 2024.
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