Daily Current Affairs and GK | 3 and 4 March 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 05 Mar 2024 17:09 PM IST

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Current Affairs

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Topic: Indian Economy

1. Moody's raised India's 2024 GDP forecast to 6.8%.

  • Moody's Investor Service raised India's economy GDP forecast to 6.8% from 6.1 %.
  • Moody predicted that inflation will remain above the RBI’s target of 4 per cent.
  • Moody's noted that the 8.4 per cent growth during the third quarter is more than the economists' projections of 6.6 per cent.
  • As per Moody's Global Macroeconomic Outlook, the growth will be 6.4 per cent in 2025.
  • India's economy has performed well and stronger-than-expected data in 2023.
  • India is likely to remain the fastest-growing among G-20 economies.
  • Moody’s expects that after the general election policy will continue and the focus will remain on infrastructure development.
  • The private industrial capital spending is slowly picking up and it is expected to pick up with ongoing supply chain diversification benefits.
  • According to Moody's, the newly elected leaders will shape both international and domestic policy over the next four to five years, changing supply networks and geopolitical dynamics.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives  

2. Union Minister of Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship launched Project ODISERV.

  • Project ODISERV has been launched in Sambhalpur.
  • It has been launched to prepare Odisha’s young graduates for employment opportunities in the financial services sector.
  • Union Minister of Education said that Project ODISERV will empower the youth of the country.
  • He said it will make them more employable and meet their aspirations.
  • According to the Union Minister of Education, 1100 students in Odisha have already been trained under Project ODISERV.
  • He said Project ODISERV is a perfect example of industry-academia collaboration.
  • National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Bajaj Finserv Ltd. launched their 1st skill development initiative, Project ODISERV at Gangadhar Meher University in Sambalpur, Odisha.
  • It is the first skill development initiative after the partnership announced by NSDC and Bajaj Finserv in December 2023.
  • Under the project, knowledge and skills will be imparted to graduates, in particular first-generation graduates.
  • The knowledge and skills will be imparted through Bajaj Finserv’s Certificate Programme for Banking Finance & Insurance (CPBFI) programme.
  • It is a 100-hour comprehensive training programme. It prepares youth from tier-II and tier-III cities for employment in financial services sector.
  • The goal of Project ODISERV is to introduce the CPBFI program in 60 institutions located in 10 districts and 11 cities throughout Odisha.
  • These districts include Sambalpur, Dhenkanal, Angul, Cuttack, Khordha, Balasore and Puri.
  • In just two months, CPBFI has already been implemented at 30 colleges. 1100 students have been enrolled and 25,000 hours of training have been provided.
  • The CPBFI initiative will be launched by NSDC and Bajaj Finserv in 22 states around India, encompassing more than 400 colleges.
  • Through the CPBFI program, the partnership intends to first enhance the skills of 20,000 candidates. 

Topic: Indian Economy

3. Government has allowed derivative trading in 11 more commodities.

  • Government has permitted trading in these 11 more commodities based on recommendations from SEBI.
  • Finance Ministry has added these commodities under the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956.
  • With this permission, the total number of commodities in which derivatives trading is allowed has increased to 104.
  • The 11 commodities include skimmed milk powder, cement, apple, bamboo and timber.
  • Weather, freight, white butter, cashew, metal alloys and manganese are also among these commodities.
  • Commodity and Derivatives Advisory Committee (CDAC) of the SEBI recommended adding these commodities.

Topic: Important Days

4. World Hearing Day: 03 March

  • The World Health Organization observes World Hearing Day on March 3 of each year.
  • It is observed globally to encourage ear and hearing care as well as to increase public knowledge of how to prevent hearing loss.
  • The purpose of the day's establishment in 2007 was to increase awareness about deafness.
  • World Hearing Day was initially named International Ear Day.
  • In 2016, International Ear Day was renamed World Hearing Day.
  • The theme for this year’s World Hearing Day is Changing Mindsets.

Topic: International News

5. On March 3, Shehbaz Sharif became the Prime Minister of Pakistan for the second time.

  • He will lead a coalition government after winning a majority in the newly-elected Parliament.
  • The unanimous candidate of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Shahbaz received 201 votes in the 336-member House.
  • The opponent of Mr. Shehbaz, Omar Ayub Khan of jailed former PM Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) got 92 votes.
  • On March 4, Mr Shahbaz administered the oath of office at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Aiwan-e-Sadr.
  • Previously, Shahbaz had served as prime minister of the coalition government from April 2022 to August 2023 before Parliament was dissolved to hold general elections.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

6. The first indigenously manufactured hydrogen electrolyzer commissioned by Larsen and Toubro (L&T) at the green hydrogen plant in Hazira, Gujarat.

  • This electrolyzer with a rated power capacity of 1 MW (expandable to 2 MW) can produce 200 Nm3/hour of hydrogen.
  • It is equipped with two stacks and an electrolyzer processing unit, ML-400, and offers exceptional flexibility and thermal stability.
  • Hydrogen is made by splitting H2O (water) into two molecules–hydrogen and oxygen–through electrolysis, which is an electrical process.
  • This method requires an electrolyzer, and if it is powered by renewable energy, the product formed is green hydrogen, a fuel that is free of greenhouse emissions.
  • Larsen & Toubro's newly incorporated unit L&T Electrolyzers focuses on manufacturing pressurized alkaline electrolyzers using technology from McPhee Energy in France.
  • L&T Electrolyzers have been allocated a significant capacity of 300 MW/year under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) of the National Green Hydrogen Mission.
  • The National Green Hydrogen Mission has been launched by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, and implemented by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).


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Topic: Defence

7. Maritime Exercise Samudra Lakshman conducted off Visakhapatnam from 28 February to 2 March 2024.

  • In the third edition of this exercise, the Indian Naval Ship Kiltan and the Royal Malaysian Ship KD Lakir participated.
  • This involved discussions at a professional level after the phase relating to operational procedures at sea.
  • The crews of these two ships held talks related to various procedures at the port, subject to expert exchange on issues of mutual interest, sports events, and other such interactions.
  • The objective of such engagement is to enhance the knowledge base, share best practices, and further enhance mutual cooperation on ocean-related perspectives.
  • During the sea phase, both contingents honed their skills while jointly conducting various naval operations at sea.
  • The aim of the exercise is to strengthen relations and enhance mutual understanding between the Indian and Royal Malaysian Navies.

Maritime Exercise Samudra Lakshman

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Important Days

8. World Wildlife Day 2024: 3 March

  • Every year on 3 March, World Wildlife Day is celebrated.
  • World Wildlife Day is observed to raise awareness about protecting wild animals and plants.
  • The theme of World Wildlife Day 2024 is “Connecting People and Planet: Exploring Digital Innovation in Wildlife Conservation.”
  • In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed March 3 as the UN World Wildlife Day.
  • In 1973, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed on 3 March.
  • CITES is an international agreement between governments. Its main aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species.
  • In India, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is a statutory body for combating wildlife crime.
  • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau assists customs authorities in the inspection as per the provisions of the Wild Life Protection Act of 1972.

World Wildlife Day 2024

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Important Days

9. NITI Aayog member Dr. V.K Paul launched National Birth Defect Awareness Month 2024.

  • “Breaking Barriers: Inclusive Support for Children with Birth Defects” is the theme of National Birth Defect Awareness Month 2024.
  • The birth defects awareness campaign will be focused on awareness about prevention, early identification, and timely management.
  • Birth Defect Day is observed every year on 3rd March. This initiative is part of this day.
  • National Birth Defect Awareness Month will spread awareness about all birth defects and treatment for children.
  • Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram of the Child Health division under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has planned month-long activities.
  • At present, in India, the Neonatal mortality rate is 20 per 1000 live births, the Infant mortality rate is 28 per 1000 live births and the Under 5 mortality rate is 32 per 1000 live births.
  • Every year, around 6% of children are born with Birth Defects.

National Birth Defect Awareness Month 2024

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Books and Authors

10. Lakshmi Murdeshwar Puri launched her book titled "Swallowing the Sun" in Mumbai.

  • Lakshmi Murdeshwar Puri, Former Assistant Secretary General, UN launched her first book "Swallowing the Sun" in Mumbai.
  • This novel is inspired by her parents and her roots in Maharashtra.
  • In this book, she highlights women's empowerment through the protagonist.
  • She stated that the book is highly inspired by various Abhangas from renowned Maharashtrian saints and poets.

Topic: Defence

11. Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh inaugurated DefConnect 2024 in New Delhi.

  • DefConnect 2024 has been inaugurated to encourage indigenous defence innovation.
  • It brings together key stakeholders including the Armed Forces, defence industry leaders, start-ups, academia, and policymakers.
  • The aim of the event is to facilitate meaningful engagements and showcase cutting-edge technologies.
  • It will attract innovators and investors from leading defence sector industries of India.
  • Innovations for Defence Excellence-Defence Innovation Organisation (iDEX-DIO) is organising the event.
  • PM Modi had launched the iDEX in 2018. It provides a unified platform for defence and aerospace sector stakeholders.
  • It oversees technology development and potential collaborations in defence field.

DefConnect 2024 in New Delhi

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Defence

12. Indian Navy will commission MH 60R Seahawk multi-role helicopter at INS Garuda in Kochi on 06 March 2024.

  • This will mark a key movement in India’s defence modernisation.
  • The Indian Navy will commission the Seahawks squadron as INAS 334.
  • These helicopters come under the 24-aircraft Foreign Military Sales contract.
  • This contract was signed with the US government in February 2020.
  • So far, the Navy has inducted six of the 24 MH-60 R choppers.
  • MH 60R Seahawk multi-role helicopter is designed for anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, medical evacuation and vertical replenishment.
  • Sea Hawk is a twin turboshaft engine, multi-mission United States Navy helicopter.
  • INS Garuda is an Indian naval air station located in Kochi, Kerala. It is the oldest operating air station of the Indian Navy.

Topic: National News

13. Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal dedicated the first-ever Made-in-India ASTDS tug.

  • Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the 60T bollard pull tug named ‘Ocean Grace’ and the Medical Mobile Unit (MMU).
  • The Ocean Grace is the first made-in-India ASTDS Tug developed by Cochin Shipyard Limited under MoPSW.
  • The first ASTDS tug is equipped with the NIGATA main engines and a Power Z-Peller ZP Propulsion engine.
  • The main goal of the Green Tug Transition Programme (GTTP) is to convert at least 50% of all tugs into Green Tugs by 2030.
  • JNPA, DPA, PPA, and VoCPA will purchase two brand-new green tugs (battery-electric powered) from Cochin Shipyard by 2027.
  • PPA has fulfilled the vision by coming up with India’s first ASTDS Tug.
  • Under the Maritime Amrit Kaal Vision 2047, the decarbonisation cell is set for the development of cutting-edge technology vessels across various categories.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

14. National Workshop on Logistics Efficiency Enhancement has been jointly organized by the DPIIT and World Bank.

  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) in association with the World Bank Group organized a National Workshop on Logistics Efficiency Enhancement.
  • It will bring together the logistics sector community to identify factors affecting logistics performance and areas of improvement.
  • The workshop was divided into three sessions, which are given below.
    • Session I: It covered discussions on the approach and methodology adopted in the calculation of the Logistics Performance Index (LPI) by the World Bank
    • Session II: During this session, the corridor approach including Bharatmala and Sagarmala Corridors for enhancing logistics efficiency has been discussed.
    • Session III: Officials from States shared best practices, reforms, and digital initiatives undertaken to improve logistics efficiency.
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