Daily Current Affairs and GK | 7 February 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 07 Feb 2024 17:02 PM IST

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Topic: Science and Technology

1. India's first hypervelocity expansion tunnel test facility has been developed by IIT Kanpur.

  • The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) successfully established India's first hypervelocity expansion tunnel test facility.
  • It is a major milestone for India, only a few countries have advanced hypersonic testing capability.
  • This facility can simulate the hypersonic circumstances seen during atmospheric entry by producing flight speeds between 3 and 10 km/s.
  • This S2 facility is 24 meters long. It was indigenously designed and developed in three years. This facility is commonly called ‘Jigarthanda'.
  • The funding and support for this facility were provided by the Aeronautical Research and Development Board, and the Department of Science and Technology.
  • This will be very crucial for ongoing missions of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) including Gaganyaan, RLV (Reusable Launch Vehicle), and hypersonic cruise missiles.
  • With this facility, India will be in a better position to develop advanced hypersonic technologies and systems.

Topic: Indian Polity

2. Election Commission of India has granted name and symbol of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to Ajit Pawar's faction.

  • Ajit Pawar's group has been officially recognized as the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) by the Election Commission.
  • Election Commission has based its decision on the test of legislative majority.
  • The Election Commission said that the faction led by Ajit Anantrao Pawar is the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
  • It is entitled to use its name and reserved symbol.
  • Election Commission has ordered the faction of Sharad Pawar to claim a name for their new formation.
  • It directed the Sharad Pawar's faction to submit three preferences to the Commission.
  • Nationalist Congress Party was formed on 10 June 1999. It is a state party. Its election symbol is an analogue alarm clock.
  • The clock is drawn in blue. It has two legs and an alarm button.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

3. EdCIL Vidyanjali Scholarship Programme has been launched by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. 

  • He said the programme symbolises whole-of-society approach to empowerment through access and opportunities of education.
  • He interacted with six JNV students and five corporate CSR sponsors.
  • CSR sponsors/impact founders including Fiat India, HDFC Bank Limited, ClearMedi Healthcare, Bharat Forge, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation exchanged five significant MoUs.
  • During the event, Vidyanjali Fintech Platform/portal was launched.
  • The EdCIL Vidyanjali Scholarship Programme is in alignment with the National Education Policy 2020.
  • It is aimed at revolutionizing opportunities for quality education and access to higher education institutions.
  • It extends financial support for the meritorious Navodaya Vidyalaya students who lack means.

Topic: National News

4. Whole 1,643 km long Indo-Myanmar border would be fenced.

  • This step will improve surveillance and control insurgencies, smuggling, and the drug trade in the area.
  • At the border, people on both sides are currently allowed to enter 16 km into each other’s territory without any documents.
  • Government has not fixed any deadline for completing the fencing.
  • This would effectively end the free movement regime with Myanmar.
  • A patrol track along the border will also be built to facilitate better surveillance.
  • The withdrawal of free movement regime with Myanmar was first announced by Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a visit to Assam in January.
  • Free movement regime with Myanmar has been in place since 2018.
  • Ministry of Home Affairs has sent a proposal to end the free movement regime to the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • Ten kilometres of the border in Moreh, Manipur, have already been fenced.
  • The implementation of two pilot projects involving fence using a hybrid surveillance system (HSS) is underway.
  • With these projects, fences are going to be installed at a distance of one kilometer each in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Furthermore, the approval has been granted for fence works spanning roughly 20 kilometres in Manipur, with work scheduled to commence shortly.
  • Indo-Myanmar border (IMB) passes through Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. It is guarded by Assam Rifles.
  • Manipur has a 390 km porous border with Myanmar.
  • 2,064 km of India's 3,323 km land border with Pakistan have already been fenced.
  • Similarly, of the 4,096 km border with Bangladesh, 3,180 km are fully enclosed by fencing. The other 916 km are covered by both physical and non-physical barriers.

Topic: Agriculture and Allied Sector

5. 'Bharat Rice' launched by the government at subsidized rates for consumers.

  • On 06 February, the 'Bharat Rice' brand has been launched by Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, in New Delhi to provide rice to consumers at subsidized rates.
  • The rice will be available in packs of 5 kg and 10 kg at a discounted rate of Rs 29 per kg.
  • The government is committed to providing ration at affordable prices.
  • Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), free food grains are being provided to 81 crore people, and the government has extended the scheme for the next five years.
  • Under this scheme, poor families are saving Rs 1500 to 2000 every month.
  • This initiative will not only bring change in the lives of farmers but will also provide them security.
  • Under the Price Stabilization Fund, about Rs 27,000 crore has been used to provide relief to farmers and consumers by providing food at subsidized rates.
  • Food Corporation of India (FCI) will provide 5 lakh metric tonnes of rice to two cooperatives in the first phase.
  • This includes the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED) and the National Cooperative Consumers Federation of India (NCCF) as well as the retail chain Kendriya Bhandar.
  • Further, these agencies will pack the rice in 5 kg and 10 kg packets and retail through their outlets under the brand “Bharat Rice”.
  • Rice will also be sold through e-commerce platforms.

Topic: State News / Haryana

6. 800MW Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram Thermal Power Plant has been approved by the Haryana government in Yamunanagar.

  • The work on 'Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram Thermal Power Plant' at Yamunanagar in Haryana, with a capacity of 800 megawatts, will soon begin.
  • Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal gave this approval while presiding over the meeting of the High Power Works Purchase Committee (HPWPC) in Chandigarh.
  • The state government has allotted the tender to Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) for the construction of this new thermal power plant in Yamunanagar at a cost of Rs 6,900 crore.
  • BHEL will complete this project in a period of 57 months.
  • Ultra-supercritical units will be installed in this plant, whereas till now only sub-critical units have been installed.
  • It will have 8% more capacity than the already installed units.
  • This will reduce coal consumption and electricity will become cheaper.
  • Provision has also been made to install the necessary equipment for pollution control.
Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
January Monthly Current Affairs 2024 December Monthly Current Affairs 2023
November Monthly Current Affairs 2023 October Monthly Current Affairs 2023

Topic: Awards and Prizes

7. REC Limited has won the Best Green Bond - Corporate Award at The Asset Triple A Awards for Sustainable Finance 2024.

  • It won the award for issuance of $750 million USD Green Bonds in April 2023.
  • This was the first USD Green Bond issuance from India after India assumed G20 Presidency.
  • It was also the largest-ever Senior Green Bond Tranche by a South or South-East Asian issuer.
  • The award underscores REC Limited's commitment to sophisticated capital market instruments.
  • The Asset Triple A Awards recognize those organizations that have excelled in their respective industry. The awards are adjudicated by The Asset’s board of editors.
  • REC Limited is a Maharatna Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Power.
  • It is registered with RBI as a Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC), and Infrastructure Financing Company (IFC).

Topic: International News

8. The Iranian government has announced a visa-free travel policy for Indian nationals.

  • A visa-free policy for Indian nationals has been approved by the Iranian government.
  • This visa-free policy will be only valid for tourism purposes.
  • This policy allows Indian citizens holding ordinary passports to enter Iran without a visa.
  • However, this entry can be only once every six months for a maximum stay of 15 days.
  • Indian nationals must get the requisite visas from Iran's corresponding representatives in India if they intend to remain longer, make more than one entry within a six-months, or need other sorts of visas.

Topic: Banking System

9. RBI approved HDFC Bank group to acquire up to 9.5 pc in 6 banks.

  • HDFC Bank group entities received Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) approval to acquire "aggregate holding" of up to 9.5 per cent of the paid-up share capital or voting rights in six banks.
  • These banks include Axis Bank, Survoday Small Finance Bank, ICICI Bank, Bandhan Bank, YES Bank and IndusInd Bank.
  • The approvals were granted after the applications submitted by HDFC Bank (as a promoter/sponsor of the Group) to the RBI on December 18, 2023
  • RBI's approval will remain valid for one year till 4 February 2025.
  • The aggregate holding’ includes shareholding by the bank, entities under the same management/ control, mutual funds, trustees and promoter group entities, among others.
  • HDFC Mutual Fund held 2.76 per cent voting rights in ICICI Bank, 2.49 per cent in Axis Bank, and 2.23 per cent in IndusInd Bank. HDFC Life Insurance held a 2.92 per cent stake in Suryoday SFB.
  • Till December, HDFC Pension Management had a 1.88 per cent stake in IndusInd Bank. HDFC Bank held a 3 per cent stake in YES Bank.
  • The HDFC Group includes HDFC Bank, HDFC Mutual Fund, HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited, HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company Limited and others.

Topic: Indian Polity

10. Rajya Sabha has passed the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Bill, 2024.

  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Bill, 2024 seeks to amend the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
  • This bill proposed to decriminalise several violations and impose penalties. Initially, it will apply to Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, and the Union Territories.
  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, of 1974 established the central and state pollution control boards to prevent and control water pollution.
  • As per this act, the chairman of a State Pollution Control Board is nominated by the state government.
  • As per the provision of the bill, now central government will prescribe the manner of nomination and the terms and conditions of service of the chairman.
  • The bill also proposed a penalty between 10000 to 15 lakh rupees for violation of rules related to the discharge of polluting matter in water bodies.

Topic: National News

11. India's first digital National Epigraphy Museum's foundation stone was laid in Hyderabad.

  • The foundation stone of the country's first digital National Epigraphy Museum was laid by Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy on 6 February at the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India is setting up the museum and it will house about one lakh ancient inscriptions from different languages and periods.
  • In 2023, the establishment of the Bharat Shared Repository of Inscriptions (BharatSHRI) was announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with the digitization of one lakh ancient inscriptions.
  • This will be an unprecedented digital museum, which will open up a treasure of knowledge for scholars and researchers.
  • Out of the total outlay of the annual budget, Rs 1102.83 crore has been allocated to ASI.

Topic: State News/ Uttarakhand

12. "Dhami against drugs campaign" has been launched by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.

  • It is being run by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha Metropolitan Dehradun from 5th February to 10th February.
  • On this occasion, T-shirts and posters related to the campaign were also released by the Chief Minister.
  • Earlier, Dhami called upon the people of the state to come forward to help the government in its resolution to make the state drug-free by the year 2025.
  • In addition, he organized a high-level meeting and directed the officials to rapidly involve students and colleges in the campaign to achieve the goal of “Drug-Free Uttarakhand” by the year 2025.

Topic: International Appointments

13. Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak has been appointed as Yemen's prime minister.

  • Yemen's Presidential Leadership Council appointed Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak as the new prime minister.
  • He has taken the place of Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, who will assume the role of an advisor to the Chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council.
  • Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak was also designated as Yemen’s representative to the United Nations in 2018. He also served as foreign minister of Yemen from 2020.
  • Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak came into the news in 2015 when he was kidnapped by the Houthis while he was serving as Yemen’s presidential chief of staff.
  • Yemen is experiencing tensions as a result of attacks on ships by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.
  • Yemen:
    • It is located at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula.
    • It shares maritime borders with Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia.
    • Yemen is the second-largest Arab sovereign state.
    • Sanaa is the capital and the Yemeni rial is the official currency.

Topic: Important Days

14. Safer Internet Day 2024: 6 February

  • The Safer Internet Day is observed every year on Tuesday of the second week of February.
  • It is observed to promote a safer and more responsible use of online technology.
  • Safer Internet Day was first observed in 2004 as an initiative of the SafeBorders project, funded by the European Union (EU).
  • Cyberbullying, identity theft, data theft, cyberattacks, and cyber fraud are some common threats from the Internet.
  • Safer Internet Day allows planning actions for internet security, especially among the young generations.
  • Strong passwords, Verifying links, choosing reliable websites, Enabling two-factor authentication, etc. are some common measures for Internet security.
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