Daily Current Affairs and GK | 29 June 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 29 Jun 2023 18:00 PM IST

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Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

1. 64th Global Environment Facility (GEF) council meeting held in Brazil.

  • In this meeting, the governing body approved $1.4 billion package to tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution crises.
  • $653 million will be spent on biodiversity. It will help countries in updating their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans.
  • It will also help in meeting the targets of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).
  • This funding will provide support to 136 countries and will be focused on action to tackle species and habitat loss.
  • 16 % of the fund has been allocated for climate change while 12 % is for land degradation and 11 % is for international waters.
  • The Latin America and the Caribbean region will receive most of the funds.
  • Among the agencies, United Nations Development Programme will get maximum funds followed by the UN Environment Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization.
  • In the 15th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, it was decided that a new trust fund, GBF, will be used to run the projects under the framework.
  • The establishment of the GBF fund will be ratified at the upcoming GEF Assembly in August 2023.     
  • Adequate funds are required to meet the four goals and 23 targets set under the framework.

Topic: Important Days

2. National Statistics Day: 29 June

  • National Statistics Day is celebrated every year on the birthday of Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis.
  • Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis was born on 29 June 1893.
  • The day is celebrated in recognition of contributions made by him in the field of statistics and economic planning.
  • He is often referred to as the father of Indian statistics. He founded Indian Statistical Institute (ISI).  He is famous for the Mahalanobis distance.
  • Mahalanobis distance is a statistical measure. It is used to find the distance between a point and a distribution.
  • This year, the theme of National Statistics Day is “Alignment of State Indicator Framework with National Indicator Framework for Monitoring Sustainable Development Goals”.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

3. First hydrogen train in India is expected to run from Jind, Haryana by 2024.

  • Shobhan Chaudhry, General Manager of Northern Railway, made this announcement during her visit to Jind district, Haryana.
  • It will be the first hydrogen train in India. The train’s first prototype will have eight bogies. It will run between Jind and Sonipat.
  • Hydrogen trains run on hydrogen fuel cells, which generate electricity by combining oxygen and hydrogen. This electricity drives the motors of the train.
  • Currently, hydrogen trains are running only in Germany.
  • They are environmentally beneficial and do not emit pollutants like nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide and particulate matter.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

4. 5G & Beyond Hackathon 2023 has been announced by the Department of Telecommunications.

  • It is aimed at shortlisting India-focused cutting-edge ideas that can be converted into workable 5G & beyond products and solutions.
  • A hundred winners of the hackathon will share a total prize pool of Rs 1 crore.
  • They will get an opportunity to scale and implement their 5G products/solutions and to make them ready for market.
  • The participants can develop 5G & beyond solutions from across multiple categories.
  • These categories include Healthcare, Education & Governance, AgriTech & Livestock, Environment, Public Safety & Disaster Management Enterprise, Smart Cities & Infrastructure etc.
  • The Hackathon is open to individuals, students, start-ups, and academic institutions in India. 

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

5. 17th Indian Cooperative Congress will be inaugurated in New Delhi on 1 July.

  • 17th Indian Cooperative Congress (ICC) will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.
  • The two days Indian Cooperative Congress will be organized by National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI).
  • The theme of ICC is “Amrit Kaal: Prosperity through Cooperation for a Vibrant India.”
  • The Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah will chair the ICC.
  • The ICC aims to discuss various trends in the cooperative movement, showcase best practices being adopted by successful cooperatives, and deliberate on the challenges facing the cooperative world.
  • An exhibition showcasing various products of Self Help Groups and NCUI Cooperative Education Sector Projects will also be organized under the banner of NCUI Haat.

17th Indian Cooperative Congress

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Banking System

6. RBI has informed that the GNPA ratio of scheduled commercial banks fell to a 10-year low of 3.9%.

  • In March 2023, the gross non-performing assets (GNPA) ratio of Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) has come down to a 10-year low of 3.9% and the net non-performing assets (NNPA) ratio has declined to 1%.
  • It is expected to fall further to 3.6% by March 2024.
  • On 28 June, RBI has released the Financial Stability Report in which these things have come to the fore.
  • Gross and net NPAs have come down from 11.5% and 6.1% in March 2018 to 3.9% and 1% in March 2023.
  • SCBs has strengthened their capital base with a historic high level of capital-to-risk-weighted assets ratio of 17.1% and common equity Tier 1 capital ratio of 13.9% in March 2023, according to the report.
  • At the bank group level, the GNPA ratio of public sector banks (PSBs) may increase from 5.2% in March 2023 to 6.1 % in March 2024.
  • The GNPA ratio of Private sector banks may increase from 2.2% in March 2023 to 3.8% in March 2024.
  • The GNPA ratio of foreign banks may increase from 1.9% in March 2023 to 2.6% in March 2024.
  • Global economy is facing instability due to crisis in banking system of some countries, global political tension and high inflation.
  • Despite the global crisis, the Indian economy and domestic financial system remain strong due to solid macroeconomic fundamentals.

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Topic: National News

7. Fair and remunerative price of 315 rupees per quintal has been approved by Union Cabinet for sugarcane farmers for the season 2023-24.

  • It is the highest ever fair and remunerative price for sugarcane farmers.
  • The government has also taken a decision to bring the National Research Foundation (NRF) Bill, 2023.
  • The government has decided to bring this bill to strengthen the research ecosystem in the country.
  • The Bill will lead to the setting up of NRF to foster a culture of research and innovation throughout India’s universities, colleges and research institutions.
  • NRF will be an apex body for providing high-level strategic direction to scientific research in the country.
  • The bill has a provision to establish NRF at a total estimated cost of 50 thousand crore rupees during the next five years.
  • The bill will repeal the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) set up by an Act of Parliament in 2008. The bill subsumes SERB into NRF.
  • Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) is a statutory body under the Department of Science and Technology.

Fair and remunerative price for sugarcane farmers for the season 2023-24

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

8. The Gujarat government has signed MoU with Micron Technology.

  • This MoU is for establishing a semiconductor assembly and test facility at Sanand in the Ahmedabad district.
  • It was signed at Gandhinagar in the presence of CM Bhupendra Patel and Union Electronics and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.
  • Under the project, the Central Government will offer 50% fiscal support for the total project cost to Micron Technology.
  • The Gujarat government will provide incentives representing 20% of the total project cost.
  • The plant is expected to create five thousand direct employment opportunities in Gujarat.
  • Phase 1 of the plant will become operational by the end of 2024.
  • Micron Technology:
    • It is an American chipmaker firm.
    • It is headquartered in Boise, Idaho, United States.
    • Its CEO is Sanjay Mehrotra.

Topic: National News

9. Union Cabinet approved Ratification of the Headquarters Agreement (HQA) between India and Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).

  • The Government of India (Gol) and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) had signed the Headquarters Agreement (HQA) in August 2022.
  • In 2019, Cabinet had approved the setting up of CDRI along with its supporting Secretariat in New Delhi.
  • It had also approved a financial support of Rs 480 crore to CDRI over a period of 5 years from 2019-20 to 2023-24.
  • In 2022, Cabinet approved recognition of CDRI as an International Organization.
  • CDRI is part of India's attempts to obtain a global leadership role in climate change and disaster resilience matters.
  • The CDRI is a global partnership of National Governments, UN agencies and programmes, multilateral development banks and financing mechanisms, academic and knowledge institutions.
  • Its main aim is to promote the resilience of infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks by ensuring sustainable development.
  • CDRI was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2019 in New York.
  • It is one of the key initiatives launched by the Indian Government. CDRI is continuously expanding its membership consistently.
  • After the launch of CDRI, Thirty-one Countries, six International Organizations, and two private sector organizations have become members.
  • Economically advanced countries and developing countries which are vulnerable to climate change and disasters are becoming part of CDRI.

Topic: National Appointments

10. Rohit Jawa becomes new MD and CEO of Hindustan Unilever.

  • Rohit Jawa took charge as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL).
  • He has taken the place of Sanjiv Mehta who retired after the company's annual general meeting.
  • Shareholders approved the proposal to appoint Jawa as a Whole Time Director as well as Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of HUL.
  • He will receive an annual remuneration of Rs 21.43 crore and will also get a sum of Rs 4.83 crore as allowances in FY24.
  • Before this appointment, Jawa was the Chief of Transformation for Unilever in London.
  • Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL):
    • It is a subsidiary of the British company Unilever.
    • It was established in 1931 as Hindustan Vanaspati Manufacturing Co.
    • It is headquartered in Mumbai.
    • It is a consumer goods company.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Rankings

11. IIT Bombay has been ranked 149th in the world in the 2024 QS World University Rankings.

  • On 27 June, 20th edition of Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings (WUR) was released by global higher analyst specialist Quacquarelli Symonds.
  • In QS World University Rankings, IIT Bombay has been ranked 1st in India and 149th in the world.
  • IIT Bombay has moved up significantly from 172 in 2022 to 149 in 2023.
  • Previously, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) was the only institute to achieve this feat in 2016, with a rank of 147.
  • This is the first time that IITB has been ranked in the top 150 and top 10% in the QS ranking.
  • IITB scores 81.9 in Employer Reputation, 73.1 in Citations per Faculty, 55.5 in Academic Reputation, 47.4 in Employment Outcome, 54.9 in Sustainability.
  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has topped for the 12th consecutive year in QS Rankings 2024.
  • The National University of Singapore (NUS) (ranked 8) is the only institution in Asia to be ranked in the top 10.
  • The rankings have been analyzed for 1,500 institutions across 104 locations.

Ranking

Top 5 Universities in World

  1.  

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

  1.  

University of Cambridge

  1.  

University of Oxford

  1.  

Harvard University

  1.  

Stanford University

Top 5 Universities in India

149.

Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB)

197.

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD)

225.

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

271.

Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT-KGP)

Kharagpur

278.

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK)

IIT Bombay has been ranked 149th

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Art and Culture

12. Two day long Hemis Monastery Festival is being celebrated in Ladakh.

  • The annual Hemis Monastery festival, known as Hemis Tseschu, is being celebrated with great religious fervor and gaiety.
  • Hemis festival is celebrated on the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava.
  • On the occasion, Grand prayers, performance of sacred mask dances and exhibition of Thanka or mural Painting are being held.
  • This centuries-old monastic festival is one of the major attractions for foreign tourists who visit Ladakh during this time to witness the grand Hemis Monastery Festival.
  • This colorful festival falls on the 10th day of the Tibetan lunar month.

Two day long Hemis Monastery Festival

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

13. India ranked at 67th place on Energy Transition Index.

  • The World Economic Forum released Energy Transition Index on 28th June.
  • Sweden is on the top of the Energy Transition Index 2023. Denmark, Norway, Finland and Switzerland are in the top five of the ranking.
  • France with 7th spot is the only G20 country in the top 10 of the ranking.
  • Germany, US and UK are in 11th, 12th and 13th positions, respectively.
  • World Economic Forum has released the report in collaboration with Accenture.
  • The global energy transition has slowed down amid the global energy crisis and geopolitical volatilities.
  • As per the report, India is the only major economy that has accelerated across equitable, secure and sustainable dimensions of the Energy Transition Index.
  • India has successfully reduced the energy intensity of its economy and the carbon intensity of its energy mix despite continued economic growth.
  • Universal access to electricity has been achieved in India by replacing solid fuels with cleaner cooking options.
  • India’s performance has improved mainly due to the deployment of renewable energy.
  • The pace of thermal power plant expansion has considerably slowed in India.
  • India emerged as one of the least affected countries by the recent energy crisis mainly due to the low share of natural gas in power generation.
  • Besides India, Singapore is the only country that has shown energy transition momentum.
  • The index has ranked 120 countries. Out of them, 113 have made progress in the last decade.
  • 55 countries including India have made remarkable progress by improving their score by more than 10 percentage points.

Topic: State News/ Uttar Pradesh

14. 'Operation Conviction' has been launched by Uttar Pradesh for cow slaughter and child abuse cases.

  • The Uttar Pradesh Police Department has launched 'Operation Conviction'.
  • The main aim of this operation is to expedite the prosecution of cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
  • It will also ensure the immediate arrest of criminals involved in cow slaughter, religious conversion, rape, and murder cases.
  • It will ensure the collection of strong evidence against criminals, quality investigation, and effective representation of cases in courts.
  • UP police said that under this operation each commissionerate/district will identify 20 cases in each category in addition to cases registered under the POCSO Act.
  • Charges on criminals will be framed within three days of the chargesheet being filed and the trial will be completed within 30 days.
  • District police chiefs will coordinate with district judges and request trail of these cases on a daily basis.
  • Police commissioners/district police chiefs will also coordinate with the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) to expedite the acquisition of lab reports.
  • A monitoring cell will be also set up in each police commissioner or district police chief for monitoring the daily progress of the cases.
  • A web portal will be also developed to track the progress of cases weekly.
Related Study Material
Evolution and History of the Indian Constitution Preamble of the Indian Constitution
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