Daily Current Affairs and GK | 30 March 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 30 Mar 2024 19:57 PM IST

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Topic: Awards and Prizes

1. President Droupadi Murmu presented the Bharat Ratna Awards at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

  • President Droupadi Murmu presented the Bharat Ratna Awards to former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh and P V Narasimha Rao, former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur, Eminent Scientist M. S. Swaminathan and Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani.
  • P V Narasimha Rao, Chaudhary Charan Singh, M S Swaminathan and Karpoori Thakur received the award posthumously.
  • LK Advani will be conferred Bharat Ratna at his residence.
  • P V Prabhakar Rao received the award from the President on behalf of his father P V Narasimha Rao.
  • Jayant Chaudhary, Chaudhary Charan Singh's grandson and the President of the Rashtriya Lok Dal accepted the honour from President.
  • This year government announced to give Bharat Ratna to five persons.

Bharat Ratna winners for 2024:

M. S. Swaminathan

L K Advani

Karpoori Thakur

P V Narasimha Rao

Chaudhary Charan Singh

 

Bharat Ratna Awards at Rashtrapati Bhavan

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Defence

2. Indian Air Force (IAF) will carry out Gagan Shakti-2024 exercise from 1-10 April.

  • This exercise will involve all air force bases and assets across the country.
  • This exercise was last time organised in 2018. It tried to test readiness of IAF for a two-front war with China and Pakistan.
  • Gagan Shakti-2024 follows the Vayu Shakti-2024 exercise.
  • Vayu Shakti-2024 was carried out on 17 February at the Pokhran air-to-ground range near Jaisalmer.
  • Vayu Shakti-2024 was followed by the tri-services Bharat Shakti exercise.
  • Twelve air forces from across the world are likely to participate in a exercise that the IAF will be hosting later this year.
  • The main focus of this exercise will be to increase military cooperation among the participating nations, improve interoperability, and absorb best practices from one another.
  • This air exercise, named "Tarang Shakti" will be the largest multi-nation exercise ever held in India.

Topic: Important Days

3. International Day of Zero Waste: 30 March

  • First-ever International Day of Zero Waste was observed by UN on 30 March 2023.
  • International Day of Zero Waste brings attention to the importance of supporting and improving the waste management globally.
  • It also highlights the need to support and encourage sustainable consumption and production patterns.
  • On 14 December 2022, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution to proclaim March 30 as the International Day of Zero Waste.
  • The observance of International Day of Zero Waste is made possible by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).
  • Annual municipal solid waste generation stands between 2.1 billion and 2.3 billion tonnes.
  • The number of people who lack access to waste collection stands at 2.7 billion. Out of this, 2 billion live in poor areas.
  • Yearly municipal solid waste generation is expected to reach 3.8 billion tonnes by 2050.

Topic: Indian Economy

4. In March, India received the largest inflow of foreign funds.

  • In March, 3.63 billion dollars were invested in Indian equities by Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs).
  • Since December 2023, this was their largest buying activity.
  • Domestic institutions remained net buyers in March.
  • They made market investments totaling about 52,467 crore rupees and achieved a four-year high level.
  • In addition to India, FIIs choose to invest in Taiwan, Indonesia, and South Korea.
  • They withdrew money out of markets in Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Japan, and Sri Lanka.
  • The Japanese market saw the largest FII outflow of $5.35 billion.
  • It was followed by outflow of $1.13 billion and $514 million from Thailand and Malaysia.

Topic: International News

5. India and Ukraine talked focused on conflict resolution to strengthen bilateral relations.

  • During the bilateral meeting, the Foreign Ministers of India and Ukraine engaged in "open and wide-ranging" discussions.
  • In Hyderabad House, the talks held focused on "the ongoing conflict and its wider implications".
  • On a two-day visit to India, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the Russia-Ukraine conflict that has been ongoing for over two years now.
  • After the meeting, Jaishankar highlighted conflict-related initiatives and the exchange of their views on global and regional issues.
  • Apart from this, they noted plans to evaluate the outcomes of the previous Intergovernmental Commission meeting.
  • With several events scheduled for the Ukrainian Foreign Minister's visit, regional and global matters of mutual interest are also on the agenda.
  • In 2022, a peace framework was proposed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, outlining ten principles aimed at establishing a just and lasting peace in Ukraine.

Topic: MoUs and Agreements

6. SIA-India and ABRASAT partnered to promote space cooperation.

  • On 28 March, An MoU signed between SIA-India, India’s leading space association, and ABRASAT, Brazil’s prominent Satellite Communications Association.
  • The objective of this cooperation is to increase cooperation and progress in the space sector of both countries.
  • The aim of the MoU is also to explore new market dynamics, infrastructure development, and private investment, thereby providing a platform for industry players to capitalize on the emerging potential.
  • This MoU symbolizes the mutual commitment of both associations to strengthen their strategic cooperation in space.
  • This creates the basis for innovative projects and technical cooperation.
  • Under this partnership, it is expected to facilitate trade expansion and mutual cooperation between India and Brazil in various domains such as satellite communications, rocket launch, payload development, and ground instrumentation.
  • Anil Prakash, Director General, SIA-India, appreciated India's progressive FDI policy in the space sector, which allows 100% FDI.
Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
February Monthly Current Affairs 2024 January Monthly Current Affairs 2024
December Monthly Current Affairs 2023 November Monthly Current Affairs 2023

Topic: Indian Economy

7. India’s foreign exchange reserves increased for fifth continuous week.

  • As per RBI data, India’s forex reserves reached to a record high level of $642.63 billion in the week that ended on March 22, 2024.
  • However, India’s foreign currency assets decreased by $123 million to $568.264 billion.
  • In the week that ended on 22 March 2024, India’s forex reserves increased by $139 million.
  • In the week, gold reserves increased from $347 million to $51.487 billion.
  • India’s foreign currency assets form the biggest component of the forex reserves.
  • Forex reserves increased by $6.396 billion before the week that ended on 22 March.
  • In the calendar year 2023, RBI increased foreign exchange reserves by about $58 billion.
  • In 2022, India’s forex reserve fell by $71 billion cumulatively.
  • The last time India’s forex reserves reached an all-time high was in October 2021.
  • An increase in the cost of imported goods in 2022 could be the reason for much of the subsequent decrease.
  • Forex reserves are the assets that central bank of a country holds.
  • It is generally held in reserve currencies (usually the US Dollar, the Euro, Japanese Yen, and Pound Sterling).
  • It includes India’s Reserve Tranche position in the International Monetary Fund.

Topic: International Appointments

8. PR Sreejesh and Camila Caram have been appointed as co-chairs of new FIH Atheletes Committee of International Hockey Federation.

  • FIH Athletes Committee plays the role of a consultative body.
  • Its functions include making recommendations to the FIH Executive Board, FIH Committees, Advisory Panels and other bodies.
  • Its roles include providing feedback to the FIH on behalf of all athletes.
  • Its role further covers promoting and developing resources and initiatives to athletes.
  • It plays main role in liaising with the Athletes’ Commission of the IOC and other sporting organisations. 
  • PR Sreejesh is Indian team’s start goalkeeper. He is from Kerala. He is considered as the World’s best goalkeeper of his generation.
  • He won the FIH Player of the Year Award for best male goalkeeper. 
  • Camila Caram is a Chilean field hockey player.
  • International Hockey Federation is the international governing body of indoor field hockey and field hockey. It is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Topic: Banking System

9. GNPA ratio of scheduled commercial banks will improve to 2.1-2.4 % in FY25.

  • According to CareEdge Ratings, the gross non-performing asset ratio of scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) is projected to improve from 2.5–2.7 per cent in FY24 to 2.1–2.4 per cent by FY25.
  • The GNPA ratio of SCBs has been decreasing since March 2019.
  • The gross non-performing asset ratio of scheduled commercial banks has fallen to 3.9% in FY23, which is a decadal-year low.
  • The asset quality has improved due to recoveries, higher write-offs by banks, much lower slippages, etc.
  • In FY23, 45% of GNPA was reduced by recoveries and upgradations.
  • By the end of Q3FY24, the GNPA and the Net NPA ratios had reduced to 3.0 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively.
  • Apart from write-offs and recovery via various resolution procedures, SCBs also improved their balance sheets by selling non-performing assets to ARCs.
  • The slippages have declined across bank groups in FY23. It indicates a lower accretion of fresh NPAs.
  • In September 2023, the services and retail sectors reported 3.4 per cent and 1.3 per cent GNPA.

Topic: Banking System

10. First phase of the world’s largest single-location copper manufacturing plant commenced its operation.

  • Gautam Adani-led group started the first phase of the world’s largest single-location copper manufacturing plant at Mundra in Gujarat.
  • Kutch Copper, a subsidiary of the group’s flagship firm, Adani Enterprises Ltd., commissioned the first phase of a $1.2 billion “greenfield copper refinery”.
  • The first phase of this facility will produce 0.5 million metric tons of refined copper. This plant will reach its full capacity of 1 million tonnes by FY29.
  • India is rapidly expanding its production of copper, which is a crucial metal for the transition away from fossil fuels.
  • After the completion of the second phase of Kutch Copper, 1 million tonnes per year of copper will be produced.
  • Kutch Copper will produce copper cathodes and rods, as well as valuable byproducts such as gold, silver, selenium, and platinum.
  • Phase I of the plant will produce 25 tonnes of gold, 250 tonnes of silver, 1.5 million tonnes of sulphuric acid, and 250,000 tonnes of phosphoric acid.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

11. LIC, GIC Re and New India Assurance Company will continue as Domestic Systemically Important Insurers (D-SIIs).

  • IRDAI retains the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re) and the New India Assurance Company as Domestic Systemically Important Insurers (D-SIIs) for the year 2023–24.
  • LIC and New India are the largest life and general insurance companies in India. GIC Re is the sole Indian reinsurer.
  • The failure of these D-SIIs would disturb the domestic financial system.
  • The functioning of D-SIIs is critical for the uninterrupted availability of insurance services to the national economy.
  • D-SIIs are protected with additional regulatory measures to deal with systemic risks and moral hazard issues.
  • D-SIIs are insurance companies that are assumed as ‘too big or too important to fail’ (TBTF) based on their size, market importance, and domestic and global interconnectedness.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking/

12. UNEP and WRAP jointly released the Food Waste Index Report 2024.

  • The Food Waste Index Report 2024 has been released just ahead of the International Day of Zero Waste (March 30).
  • As per the report, over one billion meals a day were wasted globally in 2022.
  • 1.05 billion tonnes of food waste was generated in 2022. Out of the total food waste, 60% occurred at the household level.
  • 783 million people faced hunger and about one-third of people faced food insecurity around the world.
  • Many low-middle-income countries don’t have adequate systems for tracking progress to meet the Sustainable Development Goal of halving food waste by 2030.
  • Only Australia, Japan, the U.K., the U.S. and the European Union have food waste tracking systems.
  • The report stated that average levels of household food waste for high-income, upper-middle, and lower-middle-income countries differ by just 7 kg per capita.
  • Hotter countries generate more food waste per capita at the household level.
  • Food loss and waste generated “8-10% of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • As of 2022, only 21 countries had included food loss and/or waste reduction in their climate plans or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
  • “Food waste” is defined as “food and the associated inedible parts removed from the human food supply chain”.
  • Food Waste Index tracks the global and national generation of food and inedible parts wasted at the retail and consumer (household and food service) levels.

Topic: National Appointments

13. Nidhu Saxena became the new MD & CEO of the Bank of Maharashtra.

  • Bank of Maharashtra appointed Nidhu Saxena as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD & CEO).
  • He has been appointed for a period of three years with effect from 27 March 2024.
  • He will replace AS Rajeev who has been selected as Vigilance Commissioner in CVC.
  • He has vast experience of 26 years in diversified areas of banking. He started his banking career at the Bank of Baroda.
  • He also has 8 years of experience in the corporate sector.

Topic: International News

14. France is about to become the first country to pass a bill to combat hair discrimination.

  • The lower house of the Parliament of France has passed a bill that would ban discrimination over the texture, length, colour or style of hair.
  • The bill will amend the existing anti-discrimination measures in the labour code.
  • The bill will support black people, who face discrimination at the workplace due to their hair.
  • Olivier Serva, a Black MP from the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, has drafted the bill.
  • The bill has been approved by 44 legislators while two voted against it. It will become law after the approval by the Senate.
  • 23 states in the United States have passed legislation for protecting people from hair discrimination in the workplace and public schools.
  • France will become the first country in the world to recognise discrimination based on hair at a national level.
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