Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 10th December 2023

National News

1.‘Green Rising’ Initiative Launched To Empower Youth In Meaningful Eco Initiatives

  • On December 8th, at COP28UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited, in collaboration with India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, unveiled the “Green Rising initiative.
  • This initiative, carried out through India’s YuWaah campaign, places a special emphasis on engaging youth in impactful environmental actions at the grassroots level, drawing inspiration from the Mission Life movement.
  • Co-hosted by UNICEFGeneration Unlimited, and Dubai Cares, the Green Rising initiative was formally launched at the RewirEd Summit. Over the next three years (2023-2025), the initiative aims to create pathways for at least 10 million children and youth in developing countries, mobilizing them for grassroots action, green skills building, jobs, and entrepreneurship.

2.Govt Unveils ‘Mera Gaon, Meri Dharohar’ Project To Document Village Heritage

  • Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy, responsible for culture, tourism, and the development of the North Eastern Region, announced a groundbreaking initiative, titled “Mera Gaon, Meri Dharohar” (MGMD).
  • Developed in collaboration with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) under the Ministry of Culture, MGMD is a pivotal component of the National Mission on Cultural Mapping.
  • The primary objective of MGMD is to make the wealth of information about Indian villages accessible to both virtual and real-time visitors. This aligns with the broader goals of the National Mission on Cultural Mapping, reflecting the government’s commitment to document and map the cultural diversity inherent in villages across the country.

International News

3.Lahore Leads In Global Pollution Ranking

  • Lahore, the second-largest city in Pakistan, recently earned the dubious distinction of having the worst air quality in the world, with a hazardous Air Quality Index (AQI) of 400 in the morning.
  • The AQI is calculated based on five categories of pollutants: ground-level ozoneparticulate mattercarbon monoxidesulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Each of these pollutants has distinct sources, ranging from industrial emissions to vehicular exhaust and agricultural activities.
  • The consequences of Lahore’s air quality crisis extend beyond mere discomfort. Prolonged exposure to high levels of air pollution can lead to severe health issues, including respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases, and other respiratory illnesses.

State News

4.Damodar Rajanarasimha Appointed As Telangana’s Health Minister

  • Telangana Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy appointed Damodar Rajanarasimha Cilarapu, an engineering graduate, as the Health Minister of the state.
  • Rajanarasimha secured a significant victory in the Andole constituency. He garnered 1,14,147 votes (53.65%), winning by a substantial margin of 28,193 votes. This electoral success solidified his position and paved the way for his appointment as the Health Minister.
  • Despite lacking a medical background, Rajanarasimha brings a wealth of experience and political acumen to his new role. Holding a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Osmania University’s College of Engineering, earned in 1982, he is well-versed in navigating complex issues and policy matters.

Defence News

5.Ministry Of Defence Inks ₹588 Crore Pact With TCIL For Digital Transformation Of Indian Coast Guard

  • The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has recently signed a significant contract worth ₹588.68 crore with Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) for the implementation of the “Digital Coast Guard (DCG)” project.
  • Under the “Buy (Indian)” category, the DCG project aims to establish a centralized monitoring and management system for the Indian Coast Guard’s applications and assets. The project encompasses various key components to advance the technological landscape of the ICG.
  • The MoD highlights that the DCG project leverages secured MPLS/VSAT connectivity, positioning itself at the forefront of cutting-edge defence technology. The establishment of a Tier-III standard Data Centre equipped with the latest technological capabilities is a key aspect of the initiative.

Economy News

6.India’s Forex Reserves Surpass $600 Billion Mark After Four-Month Interval

  • India’s foreign exchange reserves have witnessed a notable upswing, reaching $604 billion as of December 1, marking a significant milestone after a four-month hiatus. The last instance of the reserves crossing the $600 billion threshold was recorded on August 11 earlier this year.
  • As of November 24, the forex reserves stood at $597.935 billion, reflecting a steady increase from the preceding week. Notably, in October 2021, India’s foreign exchange reserves had reached an unprecedented all-time high of $642 billion. However, the subsequent months witnessed a decline as the central bank strategically deployed reserves to defend the Indian rupee against pressures arising from global developments.

7.Union Cabinet Allocates Rs 2,500 Crore For Extended Interest Equalisation Scheme

  • The Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has sanctioned an additional Rs 2,500 crore for the Interest Equalisation Scheme. The scheme is extended until June 30, 2024, aiming to support exporters from specific sectors and all MSME manufacturer exporters.
  • Objectives of the scheme are: To facilitate pre and post-shipment Rupee export credit at competitive rates. To continue benefiting manufacturer and merchant exporters in identified tariff lines. To foster growth in the MSME sector, crucial for employment generation.
  • The scheme has a positive impact on export growth, supported by a study conducted by IIM Kashipur. It focusses on labour-intensive sectors, particularly vital for MSMEs and promotes employment generation by boosting exports in targeted sectors.

8.India Implements Duty-Free Import Of Yellow Peas To Regulate Pulse Prices

  • In a strategic move to stabilize pulse prices, the Indian government, through the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), has lifted restrictions on the import of yellow peas. The move allows duty-free shipments of yellow peas until March 31, 2024, aiming to enhance the supply of pulses in the market.
  • Yellow peas, primarily imported from Canada and Russia, were initially subjected to a 50% duty in November 2017. The recent decision shifts their import status from “Restricted” to “Free” as part of New Delhi’s efforts to manage the overall pulse basket prices.

Banking News

9.RBI Raises UPI Limit For Healthcare And Education To Rs 5 Lakh

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) took a significant step on Friday by announcing an increase in the UPI payment limits from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. This decision is expected to reshape the dynamics of financial transactions, particularly in the domains of healthcare and education.
  • RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das emphasized that the revised UPI transaction limit aims to facilitate higher payments for medical and educational purposes. The announcement signals a positive shift in the landscape of digital transactions, allowing consumers greater flexibility in handling transactions related to healthcare and education.
  • As per the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) website, the existing UPI transaction limit for normal payments stands at Rs 1 lakh per transaction. However, certain categories, such as capital markets, collections, insurance, and foreign inward remittances, have a higher transaction limit of up to Rs 2 lakh.

10.IDFC FIRST Bank Unveils Youth-Centric “FIRST SWYP” Credit Card In Collaboration With Mastercard

  • In a strategic move targeting the dynamic preferences of Millennials and Gen Zs, IDFC FIRST Bank has introduced the “FIRST SWYP” credit card, a youth-centric offering designed to cater to the unique demands of the new-age customer.
  • Key features of this credit card are: 1)No-Interest Charge Card: The FIRST SWYP credit card stands out as a no-interest charge card, providing users with financial flexibility. 2) EMI Repayment Flexibility: Offering curated features, the card allows for flexible bill repayments through EMIs, aligning with the financial needs and habits of the target demographic.
  • 3) Referral Program: The card boasts a benefit-laden referral program, incentivizing users to introduce their peers to the FIRST SWYP experience. 4) Exclusive Merchant Partnerships: Through exclusive and relevant merchant partnerships, the card provides users with access to a range of lifestyle-related offers, enhancing the overall value proposition.

Important Days News

11.Human Rights Day 2023

  • The year 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of a monumental global commitment—the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, this transformative document remains a beacon of hope, enshrining the inalienable rights that every individual is entitled to, irrespective of diverse factors.
  • The UDHR is a groundbreaking document that lays the foundation for fundamental human rights universally protected. It asserts the inherent rights of every person, regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political opinion, national origin, social origin, property, birth, or other status. 10 December 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of one of the world’s most groundbreaking global pledges: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

12.International Anti-Corruption Day 2023

  • International Anti-Corruption Day is celebrated worldwide on December 9 each year. In 2023, this special day falls on a Saturday. The aim of this day is to draw attention to the harmful impact of corruption on society and to encourage collective efforts to combat this global issue.
  • The theme for International Anti-Corruption Day 2023 is ‘UNCAC at 20: Uniting the World Against Corruption.’ This theme emphasizes the ongoing global efforts to fight corruption and highlights the collective responsibility we all share in standing against bribery, misuse of public funds, and any selfish motives that contribute to unethical practices.
  • On October 31, 2003, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). Designating December 9 as World Anti-Corruption Day, the goal was to raise awareness about corruption and stress the Convention’s role in preventing it. The first observance took place on December 9, 2005.

13.International Day Of Commemoration And Dignity Of The Victims Of The Crime Of Genocide

  • Every 9 December holds profound significance as the Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide marks the adoption of the Genocide Convention, a pivotal global commitment made at the inception of the United Nations.
  • This day, also recognized as the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide, highlights the importance of preventing this heinous crime. As we approach the 75th anniversary of the Genocide Convention, it remains a beacon in the fight against genocide, emphasizing international cooperation and a commitment to “never again.”
  • This year’s commemorative event centers on the theme “A Living Force in World Society: The Legacy of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.” It aims to showcase the Convention’s achievements, its lasting legacy, and the challenges that persist in its effective implementation.

Summits & Conferences News

14.GPAI 2023: Artificial Intelligence Research Symposium To Be Held On December 12-14

  • To showcase its commitment to the advancement of AI, India is hosting the Annual GPAI Summit from December 12 – 14. The event is anticipated to be inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on December 12, 2023.
  • The Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), established in June 2020, is a groundbreaking multi-stakeholder initiative. With a primary objective to bridge the gap between theory and practice in the field of AI, GPAI supports cutting-edge research and applied activities on AI-related priorities.
  • As part of the Annual GPAI Summit, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), in collaboration with the Centre for Responsible AI (CeRAI) at IIT Madras, is organizing a Research Symposium.
  • The symposium, themed “Advancing Responsible AI in Public-Sector Applications,” serves as a platform for academicians and researchers, both from India and internationally, to collaborate on responsible AI initiatives.

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