Daily Current Affairs and GK | 8 February 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 08 Feb 2024 17:39 PM IST

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Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

1. First patient became ‘cancer-free’ by using indigenous CAR-T cell therapy.

  • Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) approved the commercial use of NexCAR19 cell therapy in October 2023.
  • Dr (Col) V K Gupta accessed the therapy by paying just INR 42 lakh. A similar therapy costs up to INR 4 crore in foreign countries. He became free of cancer cells.
  • Under this therapy, the patient’s T-cells (types of immune cells) are collected and genetically modified into potent cancer fighters known as CAR-T cells.
  • The therapy includes genetically reprogramming a patient’s immune system to fight cancer.
  • The modified CAR-T cells are then expanded in the laboratory before being infused back into the patient.
  • Indigenous CAR-T cell therapy has been developed by ImmunoAct, IIT Bombay and Tata Memorial Hospital.
  • 15 cancer patients have been treated by this therapy in India. Three of them have successfully achieved cancer cell elimination.
  • This therapy is a treatment for B-cell cancers such as leukaemia and lymphoma.
  • Patients of more than the age of 15 years suffering from B-cell cancers are eligible for this one-time therapy at 30 hospitals in India.

Topic: Indian Economy

2. RBI decided to keep the repo rate unchanged at 6.5 per cent for the sixth consecutive time.

  • In the Reserve Bank of India's Monetary Policy Committee, the repo rate was kept unchanged at 6.5 per.  The decision was taken by a majority of 5-1.
  • The repo rate was last changed in February 2023 when it was increased from 6.25 per cent to 6.5 per cent.
  • The Marginal Standing Facility rate has also been kept unchanged at 6.75 per cent and the Standing Deposit Facility rate has been kept at 6.25 per cent.
  • Equated monthly instalments (EMIs) on home, car and other loans will remain unchanged.
  • Retail inflation reached to a four-month high of 5.69 per cent in December 2023.
  • For 2024-25, the inflation target will remain at 4.5% in Q1; 4 per cent in Q2; 4.6 per cent in Q3; and 4.7 per cent in Q4.
  • The real GDP growth for 2024-25 has been projected at 7 per cent.

Topic: MoUs and Agreements

3. An MoU signed by Telangana State Aviation Academy for getting advanced training for Drone Pilots.

  • On 7 February, An MoU signed in Hyderabad between Telangana State Aviation Academy and the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of ISRO for getting advanced training for Drone Pilots.
  • The MoU was signed by Academy CEO SN Reddy and NRSC Director Prakash Chauhan.
  • NRSC scientists and trainee drone pilots will receive training in drone piloting, drone data management and analysis, and mapping for 15 days.
  • The use of drones has increased in all sectors, especially in farming, as farmers use drones to spray fertilizers and pesticides and self-help groups have also chosen drones as a means of employment.
  • The Chief Minister suggested that all government officials should be given training in operating drones.
  • He also urged the Aviation Academy to create an exclusive drone port in Hyderabad.
  • He said that the government can provide 20 acres of land behind the Pharma City.
  • He said that NRSC will actively participate in sharing technology with aviation academies to train drone pilots.

Telangana State Aviation Academy

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: International News

4. Olzhas Bektenov appointed as the new Prime Minister of Kazakhstan.

  • Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a decree appointing Olzhas Bektenov as the new Prime Minister of Kazakhstan.
  • The former head of the Presidential Executive Office assumed this new role after being relieved of his post.
  • At the plenary meeting of the Mazhilis, Kazakhstan's lower chamber of parliament, Bektenov's candidacy, nominated by the Amanat party, received significant support from the majority of deputies.
  • Alikhan Smailov, who had been serving as Prime Minister since January 2022, resigned.
  • On February 5, President Tokayev signed a decree dismissing the government, ending Alikhan Smylov's tenure as Prime Minister.
  • The capital of Kazakhstan is Astana, and its currency is Kazakhstani Tenge.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

5. As part of the Digital Health India program, 'Kilkari' program launched in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

  • On 7 February, the 'Kilkari' program was launched by the Ministers of State for Health, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar and Prof. S.P Singh Baghel.
  • It is a mobile health initiative for beneficiaries in Gujarat and Maharashtra, with local content as part of the Digital Health India program.
  • Kilkari is a centralized interactive voice response (IVR) based mobile health service that delivers free, weekly, time-appropriate AV messages about pregnancy, delivery, and child care to beneficiaries' mobile phones.
  • It is operational in 18 states and union territories.
  • On the occasion, the Mobile Academy was also launched.
  • It is a free audio training course designed to expand and refresh the knowledge of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) and improve their communication skills through their mobile phones.
  • The 'Kilkari' program aims to provide weekly services, timely accessible, accurate, and relevant 72 audio messages through IVRS about reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health care to the targeted beneficiaries.

Topic: Indian Polity

6. A new name has been allotted by ECI to the Sharad Pawar faction.

  • On 7 February, the Sharad Pawar-led party was officially named 'Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar' by the Election Commission.
  • The Sharad Pawar faction submitted three name preferences for their party in compliance with the directions of the Election Commission of India.
  • In order of preference, the proposed names were “Nationalist Congress Party – Sharadchandra Pawar”, “Nationalist Congress Party – Sharadrao Pawar”, and “NCP -- Sharad Pawar.”
  • This faction had also asked for the election symbol 'banyan tree' for itself.
  • The poll panel approved the official name for his group/faction, allowing the upcoming elections for six Rajya Sabha seats in Maharashtra.
  • In July 2023, the NCP had split from Sharad Pawar's nephew and senior leader Ajit Pawar and joined the Eknath Shinde-led government along with eight party MLAs.
  • On February 6, the ECI officially recognized Ajit Pawar's faction as the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
  • The EC said that the faction led by the Petitioner, Sh Ajit Anantrao Pawar, is the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and is entitled to use its name.
  • NCP is entitled to use its reserved symbol "clock" for the purposes of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.
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: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

7. World Sustainable Development Summit has been inaugurated by Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankar in New Delhi.

  • It was inaugurated in the presence of Prime Minister of Guyana Mark Phillips and Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav.
  • On the occasion, Vice-President quoted Mahatma Gandhi and said the earth has enough for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.
  • The summit is organised by 'The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)'.
  • The summit is being held from 7-9 February 2024 in New Delhi.
  • This is the 23rd edition of the annual summit of TERI.
  • The theme for this year’s summit is Leadership for Sustainable Development and Climate Justice.

Topic: Sports

8. The logo, anthem, mascot, jersey, and torch of the Khelo India University Games 2023 will be launched by Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma in Guwahati.

  • The launch ceremony will be organized at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium.
  • The initiative is supported by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, the Association of Indian Universities, and the Department of Sports and Youth Welfare, Government of Assam.
  • It aims to offer a platform for young students to showcase their talent as well as excel in various sports.
  • The event will feature a variety of sports including Athletics, Rugby, Basketball, Volleyball, Swimming, Badminton, Hockey, Fencing, Kabaddi, Football, Tennis, Mallakhamb, Judo, Table Tennis, Boxing, Shooting, Weightlifting, Archery, Wrestling, and Yogasana.
  • The ceremony will be attended by Nisith Pramanik, Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports and Home Affairs, Government of India, and Nandita Gorlosa, Minister of Sports & Youth Welfare, Government of Assam.
  • In 2020, first edition of Khelo India University Games was held in Cuttack, Odisha. 3rd Khelo India University Games concluded on 3 June, 2023.
  • A total of 11 Khelo India Games have been successfully organized since 2018.
  • These include 5 Khelo India Youth Games, 3 Khelo India University Games, and 3 Khelo India Winter Games.

Topic: State News/ Uttarakhand

9. Uttarakhand becomes the first state to pass a Uniform Civil Code Bill.

  • The Uniform Civil Code (UCC), Uttarakhand, Bill 2024, has been passed by the legislative assembly.
  • It will govern and regulate the laws related to marriage and divorce, succession, live-in relationships, and matters related to it.
  • Now, Uttarakhand will have a common law on marriage, divorce, land, property and inheritance for all citizens, irrespective of their religion.
  • The Uniform Civil Code will not apply to the Scheduled Tribes of the state.
  • Key features of Uttarakhand’s Uniform Civil Code:
    • Marriage and divorce practices that come under Muslim Personal Law such as halala, iddat, and triple talaq have been banned.
    • The legal age for marriage has been kept to 21 years for men and 18 years for women.
    • Couples in a live-in relationship have to submit a “statement of live-in relationship” to the concerned Registrar.
    • If they have spent a month without submitting such a statement, they can face a jail term of up to three months or a maximum fine of Rs 10,000, or both.
    • The Bill abolished the concept of “illegitimate children”. The new law extends legal recognition to children born in void and voidable marriages.
    • It explicitly bans bigamy and polygamy in the state and lists five conditions for the solemnisation of marriages.
    • Marriages that occur after the enactment of the Bill have to be compulsorily registered.

Topic: Personality in News

10. Veteran journalist and Sahitya Akademi awardee Farooq Nazki died at 83.

  • Renowned journalist and Sahitya Akademi awardee Mohammad Farooq Nazki passed away at 83.
  • He was a renowned personality in the world of media and literature.
  • He worked as a broadcaster, poet, and media advisor. He also worked in various positions in All India Radio Kashmir and Doordarshan.
  • Farooq Nazki received the Sahitya Akademi award in 1995 for his remarkable poetry collection titled "Naar Hyutun Kanzal Wanas".
  • He also served as the media advisor to two chief ministers, Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah.

Topic: International Appointment

11. Mio Oka appointed as ADB's Country Director for India on 5 February.

  • She succeeded Takeo Konishi who has been promoted as ADB Director-General for South Asia at Manila headquarters.
  • Oka will be responsible for leading ADB operations in India and fostering relationships with the government and other development partners in the country.
  • Her role is to lead the implementation of ADB's Country Partnership Strategy, 2023-2027, which is designed to catalyze strong, climate-resilient, and inclusive private sector-led growth in India.
  • This will be achieved through accelerated structural transformation and job creation, promoting climate-resilient green growth, and increased social and economic inclusivity.
  • Since beginning operations in India in 1986, ADB has been a steadfast partner in supporting the country's development goals and economic growth.
  • Currently, India is ADB's fourth largest shareholder and one of its largest borrowers since 2010.
  • In 2023, ADB has committed to provide India with a sovereign loan of US$ 2.59 billion, besides technical assistance of US$ 16.31 million and grants of US$ 5.25 million under the sovereign portfolio.
  • The current India sovereign portfolio comprises 73 projects worth a total of US$15.7 billion.
  • ADB was established in 1966 and has 68 members.

Topic: Defence

12. India's first indigenously designed 155 mm smart ammunition will be developed by IIT-Madras.

  • IIT Madras will develop it in partnership with Defense Public Sector Enterprise Munitions India Limited to achieve indigenization in the defense sector.
  • Its objective is to increase the accuracy of the 155 mm shell to within a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of 10 meters.
  • At present, the ammunition developed in India has a CEP of 500 meters. Its second goal is to increase lethality at the terminal impact point.
  • Munitions India is India’s largest manufacturer and market leader engaged in the production, testing, research & development, and marketing of a wide range of ammunition and explosives for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Paramilitary Forces.
  • Over a period of two years, the faculty of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Madras, G. Rajesh, and his team of researchers will develop smart ammunition.

Topic: Indian Polity

13. Lok Sabha passed the bill to reserve seats for OBCs in J&K local bodies.

  • The Jammu and Kashmir Local Bodies (Amendment) Bill, 2024 has been passed by Lok Sabha to provide reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in panchayat and municipal bodies in the Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It seeks to amend certain provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Act, 2000 and the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000 (the Acts).
  • Currently, there is no reservation for OBCs in panchayats and municipalities in J&K.
  • The Panchayat elections were last held in Jammu and Kashmir in 2018. The five-year term of almost 30,000 local representatives expired on January 9.
  • In the interim budget, $14 billion has been allocated to Jammu and Kashmir for fiscal 2024-25.
  • Lok Sabha also passed two Bills to modify lists of SCs, STs in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2024 proposed to add the Valmiki community as a synonym for Chura, Balmiki, Bhangi, and Mehtar communities in the list of Scheduled Castes in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Bill will amend the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Castes Order of 1956.

Topic: Sports

14. Union Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur launched the 1st BIMSTEC Aquatics Championship.

  • The BIMSTEC Aquatics Championships is being held for the first time at Delhi’s Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Swimming Pool Complex from 6th February to 9th February 2024.
  • A total of 39 medals will be given out across three sporting events. More than 268 athletes from various BIMSTEC member countries will participate in the event.
  • Union Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur along with dignitaries from visiting countries attended the opening ceremony.
  • The event was initially proposed for the year 2021 but it was postponed to 2024 due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The announcement of the tournament was made by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during the 4th BIMSTEC Summit in 2018.
  • Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC):
    • It is an international organization of South Asia and Southeast Asian countries.
    • Its members are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
    • It was formed on 6 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.
    • Its headquarters is located in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

1st BIMSTEC Aquatics Championship

(Source: PIB)

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