Daily Current Affairs and GK | 8 and 9 March 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 09 Mar 2024 17:46 PM IST

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Topic: National News

1. Department of Telecom will auction eight bands from May 20.

  • In the upcoming spectrum auction, the Department of Telecom will auction eight bands.
  • The government will auction eight spectrum bands for mobile phone services at a base price of Rs 96,317.65 crore, or $11.6 billion.
  • In February, the Union Cabinet approved these auctions. All the available spectrum in 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300, 2500, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands will be put on auction.
  • The companies seeking to buy spectrum can apply till April 22. A total of 10,523.8 Mhz spectrum will be auctioned.
  • In the upcoming auction, 10 GHz of radiowaves will be available for the sale.
  • Jio emerged as the top buyer in the 2022 telecom spectrum auction.

Topic: State News/ Meghalaya

2. Meghalaya State Skill Development Society in association with SANKALP & MSDE launched Skillerate Connect.

  • The Meghalaya State Skill Development Society in collaboration with Skill Acquisition & Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP), and the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) launched Skillerate Connect.
  • In the last five years, several skilling initiatives have been started in Meghalaya.
  • Around 70,000 youth are joining the workforce in Meghalaya every year.
  • Youths can choose the skill programme through different providers that are available on the Youth Portal.
  • 40 crore rupees have been allocated in the state budget for this programme.
  • The skill development of youths will bring down the unemployment rate.

Topic: Defence

3. “Sea Defenders-2024” conducted between the US Coast Guard and the Indian Coast Guard.

  • On 07 March, United States Coast Guard Ship Bertholf had arrived at Port Blair for joint exercises to strengthen the bilateral cooperation.
  • The joint exercise codenamed “Sea Defenders-2024” was conducted off the coast of Port Blair on 09-10 March 2024.
  • During the exercise, scenarios involving piracy and challenging asymmetric threats were simulated.
  • In this, exercises like simulated drone attacks on commercial and merchant ships, joint maritime search and rescue operations, firefighting, disposal of marine pollution, and drug prevention were conducted.
  • Additionally, a simulated medical evacuation procedure was also conducted to increase preparedness in emergency situations.
  • The Legend-class United States Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Bertholf is equipped with advanced technology and weapons, including a helicopter landing pad, state-of-the-art sensors, and communications equipment.
  • High-level interactions between these maritime agencies of the two countries have been a regular activity towards maintaining professional relations.
  • Previously, the US Coast Guard ship Midget visited Chennai on 22 September 2022.

Topic: National News

4. Sahitya Akademi's annual literary festival is scheduled to be held from March 11 to 16, 2024.

  • This year, Sahitya Akademi, the National Academy of Letters, India is completing 70 years of its establishment.
  • To commemorate this occasion, 'Sahityotsav', celebrated every year by the Academy, is being celebrated this time as the world's largest literary festival.
  • Under this, more than 1100 famous writers and scholars are participating in more than 190 sessions and more than 175 languages of the country will also be represented in it.
  • The presentation ceremony of the Sahitya Akademi Awards 2023 will be the highlight of the festival, which will be held on March 12 at Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi.
  • The distinguished Odia writer Pratibha Rai will be the Chief Guest of the Awards Presentation Ceremony.
  • “Post-Independence Indian Literature” is the topic of this time's national seminar.
  • Multilingual poetry readings and short story readings, panel discussions on youth literature, identity, North-East, devotional literature of India, children's literature in India, the thought of India, and the importance of mother tongues will also be organized.
  • Apart from this, important programs like the All India Disabled Writers Conference, LGBTQ Writers Conference, a seminar on the occasion of the birth centenary of Mir Taqi Mir, and a seminar on Gopichand Narang will also be organized.

Sahitya Akademi's annual literary

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Awards and Prizes

5. ‘Measles and Rubella Champion’ Award given to India for Exemplary Efforts in Measles and Rubella Disease Prevention.

  • On March 6, India was honoured with the prestigious Measles and Rubella Champion Award at the Red Cross Headquarters in Washington DC, USA for tireless efforts to combat the disease Measles and Rubella.
  • The award was received by Sripriya Ranganathan, Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington DC, on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
  • The Measles and Rubella Partnership involves a multi-agency planning committee, including the American Red Cross, BMGF, GAVI, US CDC, UNF, UNICEF, and WHO.
  • These organizations are working dedicatedly to reduce measles deaths and prevent rubella disease around the world.
  • The Government of India's proactive measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaigns in high-risk areas and innovative strategies to reach out to underserved populations, strengthened surveillance systems, and well-being have played an important role.
  • The award is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the country's frontline health workers, healthcare professionals, policymakers, and communities across the country.
  • As a result of these efforts, 50 districts have consistently had no cases of measles, while 226 districts have had no cases of rubella in the last 12 months.
  • Measles and rubella are vaccination-preventable diseases (VPDs). MR vaccine has been part of the country's public immunization program since 2017.

Measles and Rubella Champion Award

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Maharashtra

6. 4th women's policy unveiled by Maharashtra on Women’s Day.

  • This policy focuses on the overall development of women and the effective implementation of related schemes.
  • On 8 March, Women and Child Development Minister Aditi Tatkare announced this policy during the golden jubilee year of the Women's Economic Development Corporation.
  • Maharashtra has become the first state in India to launch a women's policy.
  • Three-level committees have been formed to review the implementation of this policy, which includes a high-power committee chaired by the Chief Minister.
  • It includes a state task force chaired by the Minister of Women and Child Development and a district-level committee chaired by the Guardian Minister.
  • The policy focuses on eight principles:
    • Health, Nutrition and Wellbeing
    • Education and skill
    • Ending sexual and gender-based violence
    • Gender-responsive livelihood enhancement
    • Gender inclusive infrastructure
    • Gender-responsive governance and political participation
    • Gender-sensitive natural resource management–Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Management
    • Special sports policy for women and girls
  • Previously, the government has announced three women's policies, which aim to promote women's development.
  • In 1994, the first women's policy of Maharashtra state was announced, the second in 2001, and the third in 2014.
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Topic: International News

7. Sweden has officially become the 32nd member of NATO.

  • Sweden recently completed the accession process in Washington.
  • NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg highlighted that Sweden now has the protections under Article 5.
  • Under Article 5 of NATO’s treaty, all members are obliged to come to the aid of an ally whose territory or security is under threat.
  • It has only been activated once, that too by the U.S. after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
  • Finland joined NATO last year and became its 31st member.
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization:
    • It is an intergovernmental political and military alliance of 32 North American and European countries.
    • It was constituted in 1949 with the North Atlantic Treaty, which regulates the functioning of NATO.
    • Its headquarters is located in Brussels, Belgium.

Topic: National News

8. Poshan Pakhwada 2024 is being organised by the Ministry of Women and Child Development from 9 March to 23rd March.

  • Community events and widespread sensitization campaigns will take place during Pakhwada.
  • Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi, dietary practices centred on raising awareness about nutrition and the health of pregnant women will be the themes for these events.
  • States and affiliated Ministries and Departments have the option to plan extra sensitization campaigns centred on other crucial issues in addition to these themes.
  • These include implementing Sustainable Food Systems by encouraging millet and poshan vatikas at Anganwadi Centers and enhancing nutrition through Mission LiFE.
  • In addition, programs like Swasth Balak Spardha, Tests, Treat, Talk Anemia, and Diarrhea Management can be organised to encourage regular growth assessments of children enrolled in Anganwadi Centers.
  • In the most recent Poshan Pakhwada, which took place in March–April 2023, there were reports of almost four crore sensitization events.
  • To promote healthy eating habits and mass sensitisation, Jan Andolans are being organised each year in the form of Poshan Pakhwada and Poshan Maah since POSHAN Abhiyaan was launched in 2018.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

9. In the current year, enrollment under PMFBY has increased by 27%.

  • In the last 8 years, 56.80 crore farmer applications have been enrolled under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). 23.22 crore farmers have received claims.
  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana is a demand-driven scheme for farmers.
  • During 2021–22 and 2022–23, the number of farmer applications has grown by 33.4% and 41% year-on-year, respectively.
  • In 2023-23, the enrolment under the scheme increased by 27%. 42% of the total farmers insured under the scheme in FY 2023–24 are non-loaned farmers.
  • Around Rs 500 was paid as claims to farmers under PMFBY for every 100 rupees of premium paid.
  • PM Fasal Bima Yojana was launched in 2016. It is the third largest scheme globally in terms of premium.
  • The PMFBY is successfully fulfilling the objectives of farmers, especially in natural calamity-hit seasons.
  • The Department of Agriculture & Family Welfare is monitoring the implementation of PMFBY.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

10. Union Minister Amit Shah launched the National Cooperative Database.

  • The National Cooperative Database has been launched by Union Cooperation Minister Amit Shah.
  • It will help the expansion and development of cooperatives in the country.
  • There are more than 8 lakh registered societies in India. More than 30 crore people are connected with them.
  • The National Cooperative Database is a web-based digital dashboard. It has information about 8 lakh cooperatives.
  • This cooperative database will play a critical role in the expansion of cooperatives, digital development, and delivery through databases.
  • The database has the potential to connect primary agricultural credit societies (PACS) to Apex, villages to cities, and mandis to the global market.
  • Amit Shah also released 'National Cooperative Database 2023: A Report'.
  • The National Cooperative Database has been created in three phases.
  • In the first phase, about 2.64 lakh societies have been mapped in three sectors: Primary Agricultural Credit Societies, Dairy, and Fisheries.

Topic: State News/ Jharkhand

11. State Widow Remarriage Promotion Scheme was launched by the Jharkhand Chief Minister Champai Soren on 6 March.

  • Under the scheme, the government will give an amount of Rs 2 lakh to the widow who remarries.
  • The scheme aims to empower widows by providing financial assistance and encouraging remarriage within a year.
  • This scheme has been started so that widows can be brought into the mainstream and they can live with dignity.
  • To get approval, widows have to apply with their marriage registration certificate, and the amount will then be credited to their account.
  • For this scheme, the beneficiary must be of marriageable age.
  • Along with this, income taxpayers, pensioners, and government employees cannot avail the benefits of this scheme.
  • The beneficiary woman will have to submit her husband's death certificate.
  • To avail of the benefits of the scheme, an application will have to be made within one year from the date of remarriage.

Topic: Important Days

12. International Women’s Day 2024: 8 March

  • On 8 March every year, International Women’s Day is celebrated.
  • The day is celebrated to help create a gender-equal world and to celebrate the achievements of women and their growing visibility in every walk of life.
  • The day celebrates the economic, social, political, and cultural achievements of women worldwide.
  • The United Nations celebrated International Women’s Day 2024 under the theme “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress.”
  • In 1909, Women's Day first came into existence and was known as National Women's Day.
  • On 28 February 1909, the day was initially celebrated.
  • In 1975, the United Nations began celebrating 8 March as International Women's Day.

International Women’s Day 2024

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Jammu and Kashmir

13. Operation Kamdhenu has been launched by J&K police.

  • To curb the issue of cattle smuggling, J&K police launched "Operation Kamdhenu".
  • A comprehensive strategy will be devised to scrutinize the activities of cattle smugglers.
  • Its main aim is to tackle not only the smuggling activities but to also catch the masterminds behind these illicit operations.
  • Additionally, the assets of the accused will be assessed as part of the investigation process.
  • Under this operation, engine and chassis numbers, mobile numbers, and Aadhar card details of vehicles involved in smuggling will be documented.
  • SP Rural Jammu, DSP Headquarters Samba and DSP (Dar) Kathua will oversee the implementation of Operation Kamdhenu.

Topic: State News/ Karnataka

14. Karnataka and the World Economic Forum joined hands to set up a centre for Artificial Intelligence.

  • It will be the only World Economic Forum’s centre dedicated to AI in India.
  • It will be part of the WEF Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR).
  • This centre will play a key role in establishing industry-academia networks and facilitating the exchange of technological trends.
  • It will also help in fostering research collaboration, and actively responding to global issues.
  • Its main goal is to contribute to the global dialogue on the ethical and practical dimensions of AI.
  • It will foster collaboration and networking opportunities for startups within the AI domain.
  • Bengaluru is considered one of the top five cities globally for Artificial Intelligence (AI).
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