Daily Current Affairs and GK | 3 July 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 03 Jul 2024 17:11 PM IST

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Topic: India and its Neighbours

1. India participated in the third UN-led conference on Afghanistan in Doha.

  • India among 25 countries participated in the third UN-led conference on Afghanistan.
  • This meeting is important because first time that the Taliban are attending the talks.
  • India was represented in the meeting by MEA joint secretary of the Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran (PAI) division J P Singh.
  • The conference was strongly criticized by women's rights activists, who expressed concern over the plight of women in Afghanistan.
  • Afghanistan's economy and impact of Western sanctions were discussed in the meeting.
  • The discussions also focused on the threat of drugs and other issues.
  • Ahead of the UN meeting, the Taliban held talks with diplomatic delegations from Uzbekistan, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Topic: National Appointments

2. TV Ravichandran has been appointed deputy National Security Advisor (NSA).

  • Pawan Kapoor has also been appointed as deputy National Security Advisor.
  • TV Ravichandran is a 1990 batch IPS officer. He is currently the special director in the Intelligence Bureau.
  • Pawan Kapoor is a 1990 batch IFS officer. He has served in the Ministry of External Affairs, and the Prime Minister's Office.
  • Rajendra Khanna has been named additional NSA. He served as the deputy NSA.
  • Deputy NSA Vikram Misri was recently appointed as the Foreign Secretary.

Topic: Important Days

3. International Plastic Bag Free Day: 03 July

  • International Plastic Bag Free Day is observed every year on 3rd July to raise awareness about the harmful effects of plastic.
  • On 3 July 2008, it was first observed by Rezero, a member of Zero Waste Europe (ZWE).
  • In 2002, Bangladesh became the first nation to ban plastics.
  • A plastic bag takes 1,000 years to disintegrate in a landfill.
  • India has imposed a ban on single-use plastics from 1 July, 2022.
  • Single-use plastics are non-recyclable plastic products that cannot be used after the single-use.

Topic: State News/Andhra Pradesh

4. NTR Bharosa pension scheme has been launched by Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

  • The scheme's goal is to give different groups of people increased pension amounts.
  • In Amaravati's Tadepalli block's Penumaka village, Naidu launched the scheme.
  • All cabinet members and MLAs took part in the pension distribution programme in their respective constituencies.
  • Pensions of ₹4,408 crore were distributed to 6.531 million beneficiaries across 28 different categories.
  • The pension has been raised from ₹3,000 to ₹4,000 per month for the elderly, widows, weavers, fishermen, toddy tappers, single women, traditional cobblers, transgender individuals, and artists.
  • The pension for leprosy patients with multiple deformities and disabilities has been raised from ₹3,000 to ₹6,000 per month.
  • The pension amount has been increased from ₹5,000 to ₹15,000 for persons with severe muscular dystrophy and those who are completely disabled and confined to beds or wheelchairs.
  • The pension for individuals with chronic illnesses such as thalassemia and kidney disease has been increased from ₹5,000 to ₹10,000.
  • According to Naidu, Anna canteens will soon be revived, with meals costing just ₹5.

Topic: Banking System

5. Online loan solution in 15 minutes for MSMEs launched by SBI.

  • The country's largest bank, State Bank of India (SBI), has announced the launch of "MSME Sahaj", a web-based digital business loan solution for invoice financing of MSMEs.
  • It has been developed as a data-driven invoice financing credit evaluation engine that will provide a complete solution from loan application, documentation and disbursement of approved loan within 15 minutes.
  • The closure of the loan on due date is also automated and is carried out by the system itself.
  • Using “MSME Sahaj”, the bank's customers can avail finance up to ₹1 lakh against their GST registered sales invoice in less than 15 minutes.
  • The product is based on machine learning models and uses authentic data footprints from GSTIN, bank statements of customers and CIC data base etc.
  • The objective of this product is to provide “on tap” short term loan for working capital needs to micro SME units covered under the GST regime.

Topic: International News

6. Former spy chief Dick Schoof sworn in as Dutch PM.

  • On June 3, Dick Schoof, the former head of the Dutch secret service, was sworn in as the new prime minister of the Netherlands.
  • He is leading a broad right-wing coalition cabinet, promising to implement the country's " strictest-ever" immigration policy.
  • King Willem-Alexander officiated the ceremony at the royal Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague, where Schof and his cabinet ministers took the oath of office.
  • Schoof's appointment follows prolonged negotiations between four coalition partners: Geert Wilders' right-wing Freedom Party (PVV), the Farmers Party (BBB), the liberal-conservative VVD, and the new anti-corruption party NSC.
  • Dick Schoof will replace Mark Rutte, who is set to become NATO's next secretary general.
  • Rutte, who is stepping down from Dutch politics after nearly 14 years as prime minister, will take over from Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on October 1.

spy Chief Dick Schopf

(Source: DD News)

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Topic: Defence

7. Exercise ‘Nomadic Elephant’ started in Umroi, Meghalaya on 3 July.

  • This is the 16th edition of Nomadic Elephant, an India-Mongolia joint military exercise.
  • It is a two-week training event that will conclude on 16 July.
  • It seeks to improve communication between the troops of the two countries in semi-conventional operations in semi-urban and mountainous areas.
  • Every year, this training event alternates between Mongolia and India.
  • The fifteenth edition of the event took place in 2023 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
  • In 2023, soldiers from the Indian Army's Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Regiment and Mongolian Armed Forces Unit 084 took part in the drill.
  • The 12th Joint Working Group conference between the Indian and Mongolian defence ministries was held in Ulaanbaatar from May 16–17 of this year.
  • The status of several bilateral defence cooperation projects was reviewed at the meeting.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

8. India and Belarus held first-ever consular dialogue in Minsk on 28 June.

  • The welfare of Indian students in Belarus was among the several consular issues that were discussed during the meeting.
  • The meetings also focused on initiatives to increase tourism between the two countries.
  • Both parties decided to follow up on the discussions and review progress at the dialogue's next edition.
  • The dialogue's next edition is planned to take place in New Delhi at a mutually convenient date.
  • Dr. Aman Puri, Joint Secretary (Consular, Passport and Visa Division), led the Indian delegation.
  • Andrei Kozhan, the head of Belarus' Ministry of Foreign Affairs' General Directorate for Consular Affairs, led the Belarusian delegation.
  • The Indian delegation also met with senior officials from Belarus’ Ministry of Sports and Tourism.
  • The Indian delegation also met with representatives of the Indian student community in Belarus.
  • Belarusian Ambassador to India, Mikhail Kasko, recently expressed support for India’s “Make in India” and “Smart Cities” initiatives.
  • Kasko highlighted ongoing collaboration in pharmaceutical production and Belarus’ readiness to support India’s industrial growth.

Topic: Space and IT

9. India's first solar mission, the Aditya-L1 spacecraft, completed its first halo orbit.

  • Aditya-L1 in the halo orbit took 178 days to complete a revolution around the L1 point.
  • The observatory satellite reached its targeted halo orbit on January 6, 2024.
  • This crucial part became possible with the state-of-the-art flight dynamics software developed at the UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC).
  • The spacecraft took a precise three-dimensional trajectory. On July 2, the final firing of the thrusters placed the spacecraft back in the required orbit.
  • The Aditya-L1 spacecraft faced various strong and unsettling forces during its travel in halo orbit.
  • Aditya-L1 carried seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere and corona of the sun using electromagnetic and particle detectors.
  • The Aditya-L1 mission, an Indian solar observatory at Lagrangian point L1, was launched on September 2, 2023.
  • Lagrange Point-1 (L1) is between the Sun and Earth. It is 1.5 million km from Earth.

Topic: Space and IT

10. Snowblind malware used Android security features to bypass security.

  • A new banking malware called ‘Snowblind’ has targeted Android users for stealing banking credentials.
  • This malware uses a built-in security feature to bypass anti-tamper protection in apps handling sensitive information.
  • Snowblind uses a feature called ‘seccomp’, which stands for ‘secure computing’.
  • Snowblind injects a piece of code that loads before Seccomp starts the anti-tampering measures.
  • Snowblind can also disable biometric and two-factor authentication, two security features commonly used by banking apps.

Topic: National News

11. South Asia's largest flying school will be established by Air India in Amravati.

  • This school will strengthen the pilot training capability available in India.
  • Recently, the runway of Amravati airport was expanded by the state-owned Maharashtra Airport Development Company.
  • By mid of 2026, the flying school will be operational and will graduate 180 commercial pilots every year.
  • This is the first school to be opened by any Indian airline in the country, which will have 31 single-engine and 3 twin engine aircraft for training.
  • Air India was awarded the tender by MADC to set up and operate the DGCA-licensed school for a period of 30 years.
  • The collaborative initiative between MADC and Air India will create over 3,000 new employment opportunities in the aviation sector.
  • It will also generate employment in other allied ventures, contributing over Rs 1,000 crore to the state's GDP over the next decade.
  • With smart classrooms, world-class hostels, digital operations centre and its own maintenance facility to enhance operational efficiency, the flying school will be spread over 10 acres.

Topic: Defence

12. In the India-Thailand joint military exercise "Maitree" contingents of both armies are exercising in Thailand.

  • The 13th edition of the India-Thailand Joint Military Exercise “Maitree” is being held from 1 to 15 July 2024 at Fort Wachiraprakan, Tak Province, Thailand.
  • The previous edition of the same exercise was held in September 2019 at Umroi, Meghalaya.
  • The Indian Army contingent comprises 76 personnel.
  • These mainly comprise a battalion of the Ladakh Scouts as well as personnel from other branches and services.
  • The Royal Thailand Army contingent also comprises 76 personnel, mainly from the 1st Battalion of the 14th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Division.
  • Exercise Maitree aims to promote military cooperation between India and Thailand.
  • The exercise will enhance joint capabilities to conduct joint counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations in jungle and urban environments under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.
  • The tactical exercises to be conducted during this period will include formation of joint operation centre, establishment of intelligence and surveillance centre, use of drones and counter drone systems, cordon and search operations, and destruction of illegal structures.

Maitree 2024

(Source: PIB)

Topic: India and its Neighbours

13. Bangladesh Navy inked a deal with India’s GRSE for an 800-tonne ocean-going tug.

  • The Bangladesh Navy and India’s Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) signed a deal for an 800-tonne ocean-going tug.
  • It has been signed under a $500-million line of credit that was extended to Bangladesh by India.
  • The ship will be delivered to Bangladesh within 24 months, as per the contract.
  • The vessel will be nearly 61 metres long and 15.80 metres wide, with a maximum speed of at least 13 knots.
  • This deal will strengthen bilateral defence relations between India and Bangladesh.
  • Indian Navy Chief Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi was on a four-day visit to Bangladesh.
  • During Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India, both countries agreed to strengthen their defence ties.

Topic: National Appointments

14. FSIB recommended Challa Sreenivasulu Setty's name as the next chairman of SBI.

  • Challa Sreenivasulu Setty, who is one of the managing directors of the State Bank of India (SBI), has been recommended by the Financial Services Institutions Bureau (FSIB) as the SBI chairman.
  • For the position of SBI chairman, FSIB interviewed three managing directors.
  • Dinesh Kumar Khara was appointed as the SBI chairman on October 7, 2020. He is set to retire on August 28, 2024.
  • In 2020, Setty joined the SBI board as MD and is currently heading the International Banking, Global Markets & Technology wings of SBI.
  • The FSIB is an autonomous body responsible for making recommendations for the appointment of full-time directors and non-executive chairmen of government financial services institutions.
  • FSIB was established in 2022 and is currently headed by Bhanu Pratap Sharma.
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