Daily Current Affairs and GK | 9 July 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 09 Jul 2024 22:07 PM IST

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Topic: Environment and Ecology

1. Scientists discovered a new horned frog species in Arunachal Pradesh.

  • Researchers from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered a new horned frog species in Tale Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The newly discovered horned frog bears a strong resemblance to the Maoson’s horned frog, which is found in Vietnam and China.
  • Earlier this species has been misidentified as the Maoson horned frog (Xenophrys maosonensis).
  • Scientist have found that this frog species found in Arunachal Pradesh exhibited a genetic disparity of 4.4 per cent to 5.5 per cent compared to its counterpart in Vietnam.
  • This new species has been named after the Apatani tribe, which reside in the Lower Subansiri Valley of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The study also provided insights into the biogeographic distribution of Xenophrys species in India.

Topic: State News/Uttar Pradesh

2. Under the Vriksharopan Jan Abhiyan-2024, the Uttar Pradesh government has announced the setting up of Mitra Van.

  • Mitra Van will be set up along the borders of UP and the neighbouring country of Nepal.
  • The UP Forest Department is working with neighbouring states and country to plant 35 crore saplings in an effort to increase the greenery.
  • For this purpose, certain locations have been chosen by 35 forest divisions.
  • In this mega campaign, the Forest Department will also include dignitaries from other states.
  • Following the target date of July 20, the Forest Department is committed to making sure the Vriksharopan Jan Abhiyan-2024 is a success.
  • In addition to "Mitra Van," each district under Vriksharopan Jan Abhiyan 2024 has been instructed to develop specific forests such as "Shakti Van," "Yuva Van," and "Bal Van."
  • Comprehensive tree plantation programmes are being planned at following places.

Saharanpur

Muzaffarnagar

Bijnor

Moradabad

Rampur

Bareilly

Pilibhit

Lakhimpur Kheri

Bahraich

Shravasti

Balrampur

Siddharthnagar

Maharajganj

Kushinagar

Deoria

Ballia

Ghazipur

Chandauli

Sonbhadra

Mirzapur

Prayagraj

Chitrakoot

Banda

Mahoba

Jhansi

Lalitpur

Jalaun

Etawah

Agra

Mathura

Aligarh

Noida

Ghaziabad

Baghpat

Shamli

 

Topic: Awards and Prizes

3. Tamil writer Sivashankari will receive the ‘Vishwambhara’ Dr C Narayana Reddy National Literary Award-2024.

  • Sivashankari will receive the award in recognition of her contribution to the field of literature.
  • Sivashankari will get a cash prize of 5 lakh, a memento, and a shawl.
  • Sivashankari will get award during Dr C Narayana Reddy’s 93rd birth anniversary celebrations in Hyderabad on July 29.
  • Telangana CM Revanth Reddy will be the chief guest. Sivashankari is a recipient of the Saraswati Samman Award.
  • The ‘Vishwambhara Dr. C. Narayana Reddy National Literary Award 2023’ was given to lyricist Javed Akhtar.  

Topic: Sports

4. Abhay Singh has won two titles in Asian doubles squash championships.

  • He won the men’s doubles title along with Velavan Senthilkumar. 
  • Abhay Singh and Velavan Senthilkumar won over Malaysian second seeds Ong Sai Hung and Syafiq Kamal.
  • Abhay and Joshna Chinappa won over Hong Kong duo Tong Tsz Wing and Tang Ming Hong in the mixed doubles final.
  • The 2024 Asian Squash Doubles Championships was held in Johor, Malaysia from July 4-7.
  • Abhay Singh is an Indian professional squash player. He is a former India and Asia number 1 in the Boys U19 category.
  • Joshna was given the Padma Shri earlier this year.
  • She was the first Indian to win the British Junior Squash Championship title in 2005 in the under-19 category.
  • She was also the youngest Indian women's national champion.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

5. Union Cabinet has approved signing of the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Agreement by India.

  • Areas beyond national jurisdiction are often referred to as the 'high seas', which are areas of sustainable global use of marine resources, open to all for internationally legitimate purposes such as navigation, overflight, laying of submarine cables and pipelines, etc.
  • The Ministry of Earth Sciences will lead the implementation of the BBNJ Agreement in the country.
  • The BBNJ Agreement, or the 'High Seas Treaty', is an international treaty under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
  • It aims to address growing concerns over the long-term conservation of marine biodiversity in the ocean beyond national borders.
  • The BBNJ Agreement will be the third implementation agreement under UNCLOS if and when it enters into force.
  • This agreement will join the 1994 Part XI Implementation Agreement, (which addresses the exploration and extraction of mineral resources in the international seabed area), and the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement, (which focuses on the conservation and management of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks).
  • On December 10, 1982, UNCLOS was adopted, and came into force on November 16, 1994.
  • It is important for environmental protection of the oceans and for demarcation of maritime boundaries, rights to marine resources, and dispute resolution.
  • Till date, over 160 countries have ratified UNCLOS.
  • In March 2023, the BBNJ Agreement was agreed and is open for signature for a term of two years beginning in September 2023.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

6. Best Agriculture State Award 2024 presented to Maharashtra.

  • The 15th Agriculture Leadership Awards Committee has presented Maharashtra with the Best Agriculture State Award for 2024.
  • The announcement was made by a committee headed by former Chief Justice of India Justice P. Sadasivam.
  • On July 10, the award was received by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde at a function in New Delhi.
  • The committee recognised Maharashtra's sustainable development policies focusing on environmental protection and food security.
  • The state government has implemented revolutionary initiatives like bamboo cultivation, Shri Anna Abhiyaan for grains, and biomass utilization in thermal power generation across the state.
Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
June Monthly Current Affairs 2024 May Monthly Current Affairs 2024
April Monthly Current Affairs 2024 March Monthly Current Affairs 2024

Topic: International Appointments

7. Rachel Reeves has become UK’s first female Chancellor of the Exchequer.

  • Angela Rayner has been appointed the Deputy Prime Minister of UK.
  • David Lammy was named Foreign Secretary. Yvette Cooper was appointed Home Secretary.
  • New UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer has appointed his cabinet.
  • His cabinet included a record 11 women in the team of 25. 
  • Rachel Reeves, Britain's first woman finance minister, is a former Bank of England economist.
  • The Labour Party has promised to establish Great British Energy, a publicly owned company that will lead the way in providing financial support for the "green" shift away from fossil fuels, working in tandem with the private sector.

Topic: Defence

8. AI hub has been inaugurated at Eastern Naval Command (ENC) in Visakhapatnam.

  • Eastern Naval Command Vice Admiral Rajesh P inaugurated the Artificial Intelligence Experience Hub at the Maritime Reference Library, Visakhapatnam.
  • The Indian Navy launched the AI hub as part of its efforts to adopt cutting-edge technologies.
  • Modern AI tools and applications are available at the AI Hub to encourage staff members to benefit from the revolutionary developments in artificial intelligence.
  • The AI initiative seeks to promote exposure, education, and encourage continuation of use cases in a variety of fields.
  • Eastern Naval Command is headquartered in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. It was established on 1 March 1968.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

9. SBI Research suggested a target of 4.9% Fiscal Deficit in 2024.

  • India’s largest public sector bank, SBI research, suggested that the government should aim for a fiscal deficit target of 4.9% for the 2024–25 financial year.
  • SBI Research has recommended focusing on fiscal prudence and continued consolidation.
  • This report has been prepared by a team led by Group Chief Economic Adviser Soumya Kanti Ghosh.
  • The report anticipated robust growth in GST revenues, coupled with higher dividends from PSUs and the Reserve Bank of India.
  • As the fiscal deficit declines, the gross market borrowing of the government will also reduce to around Rs 13.5 lakh crore in FY25 as compared to Rs 14.1 lakh crore in the interim budget.
  • The government has previously said it is aiming to bring the fiscal deficit below 4.5% of GDP by 2025–26.
  • The difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government is defined as fiscal deficit.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

10. Government has decided to reopen the application window for the PLI scheme for ACs and LED lights.

  • The government has decided to reopen the window to accept fresh applications from companies willing to invest under the production-lined incentive scheme for white goods, including ACs and LED lights.
  • The application window shall remain open for 90 days, from July 15 to October 12.
  • Under this scheme, the government will provide fiscal incentives for incremental sales of goods manufactured in India.
  • The PLI (production linked incentive) scheme was announced for 14 sectors in 2021.
  • So far, 66 applicants with an aim of investing Rs 6,962 crore have been selected as beneficiaries under the PLI scheme.
  • Under the guidelines of the scheme, applicants shall only be eligible for incentives for the remainder of the scheme's tenure.
  • The PLI scheme for white goods for the manufacturing components and sub-assemblies of air-conditioners (ACs) and LED lights was approved by the Union Cabinet on April 7, 2021.
  • This scheme will be implemented over a seven-year period from 2021–22 to 2028–29, with an outlay of Rs 6238 crore.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

11. Project PARI (Public Art of India) launched by the Ministry of Culture for the 46th World Heritage Committee meeting.

  • The first exercise under Project PARI is taking place in Delhi.
  • The event coincides with the 46th session of the World Heritage Committee, which is to be held in New Delhi, India, between 21-31 July 2024.
  • India has long been a vibrant hub of artistic expression, with a rich history of folk art reflecting the country’s cultural and spiritual diversity.
  • From ancient rock-cut temples and intricate murals to grand public sculptures and vibrant street art, India’s landscapes have always been adorned with artistic marvels.
  • Project PARI (Public Art of India), an initiative of the Ministry of Culture, is being implemented by Lalit Kala Akademi and National Gallery of Modern Art.
  • It aims to bring forth public art that draws inspiration from thousands of years of artistic heritage (folk art/folk culture) while incorporating modern themes and techniques.
  • Over 150 visual artists from across the country have come together to create various wall paintings, murals, sculptures and significant works being created under this project.
  • The proposed sculptures being created for Project PARI cover a wide range of ideas including respect for nature, ideas inspired by Natya Shastra, Gandhiji, toys of India, hospitality, ancient wisdom, Naada or the primal sound, harmony of life, Kalpataru – the divine tree, etc.

Topic: Sports

12. BPCL has partnered with the Indian Olympic Association as a principal sponsor from Paris 2024 to Los Angeles 2028.

  • Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), a 'Maharatna' and Fortune Global 500 company, announces its partnership with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as the Official Principal Partner for four years.
  • The partnership will run from the Paris Olympics 2024 to the Los Angeles Olympics 2028.
  • This four-year partnership supports and salutes the determination and courage of Indian athletes, many of whom come from humble backgrounds and remote corners of India.
  • BPCL will initiate a number of campaigns as part of this partnership with the aim of encouraging and supporting the Indian contingent travelling to Paris.
  • These initiatives aim to inspire the nation, garner support for our athletes and celebrate their constant strive for excellence on the global stage.

Topic: National News

13. Digital Bharat Nidhi would replace the erstwhile Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

  • The Department of Telecommunication released a draft for replacing the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) with Digital Bharat Nidhi.
  • Digital Bharat Nidhi was established under the Telecommunications Act, 2023.
  • It was established to provide telecom services in remote and rural areas at affordable prices through a universal access levy.
  • Payments received for DBN will first be credited to the Consolidated Fund of India under Section 25 of the Telecommunications Act, 2023.
  • The amount will then be credited to the DBN by the central government to provide access to telecommunication services in rural, remote and urban areas.
  • Sections 24 to 26 of the act will replace renamed USOF as DBN.
  • This fund will also support pilot projects, consultancy assistance and research and development.
  • Under the proposed rules, the central government will appoint an “administrator” of the DBN. It will select the DBN implementers through bidding or invitation of applications.

Topic: Banking System

14. LIC raised stake in IDFC First Bank.

  • Life Insurance Corporation of India has increased its stake in IDFC First Bank from 0.20% to 2.68%.
  • LIC bought 18,60,34,900 shares at an average price of Rs 80.63 via private placement offer on 4 June 2024.
  • IDFC First Bank is a universal bank. It is an Indian private-sector bank. It was founded in 2015.
  • It is headquartered in Mumbai. V. Vaidyanathan is its MD & CEO. Its shareholding pattern is given below (as of September 2023).

Shareholders

Percentage

Promoters

40.00

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs)

24.48

Domestic Institutional Investors (DIIs)

9.50

Public Shareholding

26.02

Other

2.22

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