Daily Current Affairs and GK | 4 January 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 04 Jan 2024 17:43 PM IST

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Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

1. Government made the Aadhaar-based system mandatory for NREGS payments.

  • The Aadhaar-based payment system (ABPS) has become mandatory for paying wages to NREGS workers from 1 January 2024.
  • The government may consider exemptions on a “case-by-case basis” if any gram panchayat faces either a technical issue or an Aadhaar-related problem.
  • Under the Aadhaar-based payment system (ABPS), workers' Aadhaar numbers will be linked to their Job cards and their bank account numbers.
  • The Aadhaar-based payment system was first made mandatory on 1 February 2023 but its date was extended several times.
  • The ABPS will ensure wage payment of beneficiaries into their bank accounts, even in case of frequent change of bank account.
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (MGNREGA)
    • It was passed by Parliament on 23rd August 2005. It came into force on 2 February 2006.
    • In October 2009, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 was amended and its name was changed from NREGA to MGNREGA.
    • Under MGNREGA, there is a provision to provide at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every rural household.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

2. 'SMART 2.0' (Scope for Mainstreaming Ayurveda Research among Teaching professionals) program has been launched for Ayurveda Teaching Professionals.

  • 'SMART 2.0' program has been launched by the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) along with National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM).
  • The aim of ‘SMART 2.0’ program is to promote clinical studies in priority areas of Ayurveda.
  • It aims to promote such studies with Ayurveda academic institutions and hospitals across the country through mutual collaboration.
  • According to Director General of CCRAS, the study aims at safety, tolerability and adherence to Ayurveda formulations in the certain priority research areas.
  • These priority research areas are Bal Kasa, Malnutrition, Insufficient lactation, Abnormal Uterine Bleeding, Osteoporosis in post-menopausal women and Diabetes Mellitus (DM) II.
  • The goal of "SMART 2.0" is to use multidisciplinary research techniques to produce concrete evidence of the safety and efficacy of Ayurvedic treatments.
  • About ten diseases were covered under "SMART 1.0," with the active participation of teaching professionals from 38 colleges.
  • CCRAS is the premier organisation for formulating, coordinating, developing, and advancing scientific Ayurvedic research. It functions under the Ministry of Ayush. It is headquartered in New Delhi.
  • National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM):
    • It is a Statutory and regulatory body of the Government of India. It was formed in 2020.
    • It frames policies for institutions engaged in the Indian System of Medicine.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

3. Annual Capacity Building Plan launched by UGC for employee training.

  • UGC Chairman, Mamidala Jagdesh Kumar launched the plan in the presence of Dr. R Balasubramanium, Member HR, Capacity Building Commission.
  • This plan aims to work towards the growth and skill enhancement of employees.
  • UGC has become the first autonomous organisation, which has initiated planning for the capacity building of its employees in partnership with the Capacity Building Commission (CBC).
  • Through this initiative, training will be provided to UGC employees in four key areas.
  • These areas are behavioral competencies, functional competencies, domain competencies and newer technology competencies.
  • Capacity Building Commission:
    • It is an independent body with full executive power. It has been operational since April 2021. Adil Zainulbhai is its Chairperson.
    • It is a three-member Commission, with members from diverse backgrounds like private sector, academia, public sector, and civil society.

Topic: Economy/Banking/Finance

4. RBI has proposed new rules of dividend payout for banks.

  • In a recently released draft circular, RBI has proposed new rules of dividend payout for domestic and overseas banks operating in India.
  • The proposed rules will be effective from fiscal year 2024-25 onwards.
  • RBI has invited public feedback on the proposed rules by 31 January, 2024.
  • The draft circular will be implemented from April 2024 onwards.
  • As per the proposal, banks with net non-performing asset ratio (NNPA) of more than 6% and capital adequacy ratio of less than 11.5% cannot declare dividends.
  • Minimum capital adequacy ratio has been kept at 15% for a small finance bank and payment banks. It has been kept at 9% for local area banks and regional rural banks.
  • According to the RBI’s circular, banks must compute dividends on the basis of the “dividend payout ratio”.
  • Dividend payout ratio is the ratio between the amount of the dividend payable in a year and the net profit for the financial year for which the dividend is proposed.
  • Only dividend on equity shares shall be included in the proposed dividend payable.
  • Increasing the ceiling on the dividend payout ratio to 50% if net NPA is zero has also been proposed by RBI. The earlier ceiling was 40%.
  • Presently, banks require an NNPA ratio of up to 7% to become eligible for declaration of dividends.

Topic: Space and IT

5. SpaceX rocket will be used by India to launch a communications satellite.

  • Using SpaceX's services for the first time, ISRO will deploy its heavy communications satellite GSAT-20 via the Falcon-9 rocket in mid-2024.
  • GSAT-20 can enable telecom providers to offer very high-speed Internet services.
  • It weighs about 4,700 kg, much heavier than the launch capacity of ISRO’s most powerful rocket, the LVM-3.
  • For its heavier satellites, weighing more than 4,000 kg, India was dependent on European launch provider Arianespace.
  • However, Arianespace's heavy launch vehicle Ariane-5 was retired in July 2023 and its successor Ariane-6 is yet to make its debut.
  • Falcon-9 is a reusable rocket, which can carry over 8,300 kg to GTO. It has made 285 flights to various places in space.
  • The flight of Indian satellites on Falcon-9 has been facilitated by ISRO's commercial arm NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), which had entered into a launch agreement with SpaceX in 2023.
  • GSAT-20 will address high-speed connectivity deficiencies in rural and remote parts of the country and also enable in-flight internet services.
  • It was initially scheduled to be launched in 2018 and then in 2020.
  • GSAT-20 will be the second “demand-driven” satellite launch by NSIL.

Topic: Indian Economy

6. India's FY24 GDP growth estimate has been raised to 6.7% by India Ratings.

  • On January 3, India Ratings & Research raised India's GDP growth forecast in fiscal 2023–24 to 6.7% from its earlier estimate of 6.2%.
  • The rating agency has raised India's GDP growth forecast, citing better-than-expected growth during the September quarter and continued government expenditure.
  • However, the rating agency of Fitch Group has cautioned that India's economy faces challenges from a slowdown in exports and risks to global growth amid the monetary policy tightening adopted by central banks in advanced economies.
  • Global inflation would decline to 6.9% in 2023 and 5.8% in 2024 (2022: 8.7%) due to tight monetary policies.
  • Earlier in October, India Ratings had raised India's GDP growth forecast in FY2024 to 6.2% from 5.9%.
  • India's merchandise exports increased marginally to $33.90 billion in November, compared to $33.57 billion in October.
  • Services exports remained flat at $28.69 billion in November, while imports declined to $13.40 billion in November from $14.32 billion in the previous month.
  • India Ratings expects India's current account deficit to narrow to 1.3% of GDP in FY2024 from 2.0% in FY2023, in response to emerging domestic and global demand conditions.

 

Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
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October Monthly Current Affairs September Monthly Current Affairs

Topic: Important Days

7. World Braille Day: 04 January

  • World Braille Day celebrated across the globe on 04 January 2024.
  • This day marks the birthday of Louis Braille, who invented the Braille script and was born in France in 1809.
  • United Nations has designated 4 January every year as World Braille Day. World Braille Day has been celebrated since 2019.
  • World Braille Day is celebrated to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication for the human rights of blind and partially sighted people.
  • Braille is a universal code rather than a language. It is a tool to write and read Sanskrit, Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Spanish, and other languages.
  • Braille is a tactile representation of alphabetic and numerical symbols using six dots to represent each letter and number.

World Braille Day

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: National News

8. Indian Railways will install around 20 thousand GPS-based navigation fog pass devices.

  • These devices will be installed to ensure smooth rail operations during foggy weather.
  • The fog pass is a GPS-based navigation device. It helps the loco pilot to navigate during dense fog conditions.
  • It provides real-time information to local pilots about the location of fixed landmarks like Signals, Level Crossing gates and Permanent Speed Restrictions.
  • It is portable, compact in size and light in weight. So, the loco pilot can carry it easily with him.

GPS-based navigation fog pass devices

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Personality in News

9. Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II to abdicate the throne after 52 years.

  • Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II announced to step down from the throne on 14 January after 52 years.
  • She will be succeeded by her son Crown Prince Frederik. He is the oldest son of the Queen Margrethe.
  • Frederik has served as regent whenever his mother was outside the kingdom. Crown Princess Mary will become the queen.
  • Margrethe II is the Europe's longest-reigning living monarch. She accepted the throne at the age of 31 after the death of her father King Frederik IX.
  • Queen Margrethe II said that after the back surgery in early 2023, she decided to pass on the responsibilities to her son.
  • Queen Margrethe has been one of the most popular public figures in Denmark.
  • Denmark has the oldest ruling monarch in Europe, which traces can be found from 958 AD.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

10. ‘Nritya Kalanidhi’ Award presented to Vasanthalakshmi Narasimhachari.

  • Classical dancer and choreographer Vasanthalakshmi Narasimhachari received the Nritya Kalanidhi award at the 17th Dance Festival of The Music Academy in Chennai.
  • Edgar Pang Tze Chiang presented the award. 
  • Ms. Narasimhachari and her late husband M.V. Narasimhachari were dance tutors at the Singapore Fine Arts Society.
  • Ms Narasimhachari described the award as a significant moment in her life.
  • The Music Academy in Chennai is a landmark institution in the history of the fine arts.
  • The Music Academy has also been a venue for Hindustani music, and classical dance forms from the rest of India and the world.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

11. Hyderabad and Bengaluru airports have been ranked second and third among global airports in operational performance.

  • According to a report released on January 2, both airports are among the top ten global airports in terms of operational performance and punctuality.
  • In the 2023 On-Time Performance (OTP) review prepared by aviation analytics firm Cirium, a total of three Indian airports Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Kolkata, and one Indian carrier IndiGo are included.
  • With 84.42% OTP, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport ranked second in the global airports as well as large airports categories.
  • With 84.08% OTP, Kempegowda International Airport ranked third in both segments.
  • With an OTP of 84.44%, Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport in the US has topped both lists.
  • With an OTP of 83.91%, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport in Kolkata is ranked ninth in the medium airports category.
  • With 90.71% OTP, Japan's Osaka International Airport topped the medium airports category.
  • With an OTP of 82.12%, India's largest airline IndiGo ranked eighth in the low-cost carriers category and is at the fourth spot in the Asia Pacific segment.
  • With an OTP of 92.36%, South Africa's Safire airport topped the low-cost carrier segment.
  • In the Asia Pacific category, Japan's All Nippon Airways topped the list with 82.75% OTP. Japan Airlines (82.58%) and Thai AirAsia (82.52%) stood second and third, respectively.
  • The position of the most on-time global airline went to Bogota, Colombia-based Avianca Airlines.
  • On time flight is defined as a flight that arrives within 15 minutes of the scheduled gate arrival.

Topic: National Appointment

12. On 01 January 24, Vice Admiral B Shivakumar, AVSM, VSM took over as the Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition.

  • Vice Admiral B Shivakumar, an alumnus of the National Defense Academy (70th Course), was commissioned as an Electrical Officer in the Indian Navy on 01 July 1987.
  • He holds a master's degree in engineering from IIT Chennai and a master's degree in management from Osmania University.
  • He has held various important appointments in the Staff and Materiel Branch at Naval Command Headquarters, Dockyards, and Training Establishments.
  • He has served variously on ships like Ranjit, Kirpan, and Akshay and has also commanded INS Valsura.
  • He has received Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal for his distinguished service.
  • Before this appointment, he served as Programme Director, HQ ATVP at New Delhi, Assistant Chief of Materiel (IT&S) at Naval Headquarters, ASD(Mumbai), and Chief Staff Officer (Tech)/ HQ WNC.

Vice Admiral B Shivakumar

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Jammu and Kashmir

13. Jammu and Kashmir became the first UT to implement PM Vishwakarma Yojana.

  • Jammu and Kashmir has implemented the PM Vishwakarma Yojana (PMVY).
  • PM Vishwakarma Yojana is an initiative to empower and enhance the skills of the craftsman community.
  • The training programme for the first batch of 30 trainees (Viswakarmas) in 'darzi craft' has been inaugurated at the Industrial Training Institute in Shopian.
  • The scheme is expected to be operationalized in all districts of J&K soon.
  • PM Vishwakarma Yojana:
    • It was launched by the central government in September 2023.
    • Its main aim is to recognize artisans and craftspeople through PM Vishwakarma certificates and ID cards.
    • This scheme includes basic training of five to seven days.
    • A free modern toolkit worth ₹15,000 for trained Vishwakarma is also provided under this scheme.

Topic: State News/ Maharashtra

14. Maharashtra government notified drone mission.

  • The Maharashtra government has decided to set up the Maharashtra Drone Mission (MDM) for the use of drone technology.
  • A five-year implementation plan has been prepared by a team of experts from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Bombay.
  • The drone mission will be headquartered at IIT-B. It will turn Maharashtra into a global drone hub.
  • The IIT-B report envisaged the use of drones for the delivery of medicines in an emergency as well as vaccines to remote areas.
  • As per the report, drones will be used for surveillance and traffic management.
  • The state government notified that the use of drones would be done under the Centre’s Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RCA) operation guidelines.
  • Six regional centres and 12 district-level centres across the state will be also established.
Related Study Material
Evolution and History of the Indian Constitution Preamble of the Indian Constitution
Major sources of Indian Constitution President of India
Ramsar sites of India 2022 Classification of Rocks
Interior of the Earth Tax system in India
 
 

 

 

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