Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 25th December 2023


National News 

1.Tanker with Indian crew " hit by drone in Red Sea 

  • A crude oil tanker, m.v Sai Baba, head- ing to India was hit by a one-way attack drone in the southern Red Sea, the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (CENTCOM) said on Sunday. The vessel had an all-Indian crew and is managed by an Indian company. No injuries were reported. 
  • "At approximately 8 p.m. (Sanaa time), U.S. Naval Forces Central Command received reports from two ships in the Southern Red Sea that they were under attack," CENT- COM said on X (formerly Twitter). USS Laboon responded to the distress it said. dian register of shipping calls, The vessel had received a certification from the Defence sources said. "All crew are safe and the vessel is heading towards India," a source said. m.v. Chem Pluto, which was hit by a suspected drone just outside the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on Saturday, was being escorted by Indian Coast Guard ship Vikram on Sunday, and is scheduled to reach Mumbai on Monday. A Pentagon spokesperson told the Reuters news agency that Chem Pluto was hit by "a one-way attack drone fired from Iran". 
  • The twin attacks on Sunday took the number of attacks on commercial shipping by Houthi militants from October 17 to 15. After Sai Baba came under attack, m.v. BLAAMANEN, a Norwegian-flagged and operated chemical/oil tanker, reported a near-miss by a Houthi one-way attack drone with no injuries or damage reported. 

2.International Organization for Migration launches ‘Project Prayas’ in New Delhi 

  • The International Organization for Migration, India (IOM) launched ‘Project Prayas’ to facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration for Indian workers and students in New Delhi on 21 December 2023. 
  • The project, Prayas (Promoting Regular and Assisted Migration for Young and Skilled Professionals), was launched in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs. Established in 1951, IOM is a United Nations agency dedicated to promoting humanitarian and orderly migration. It is headquartered in Grand-Saconnex, Switzerland. 
  • According to IOM India, the project aims to facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration for willing Indian migrant workers and students through policy recommendations in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and state governments, thereby strengthening international migration governance. 
  • The project effort not only aligns with the priorities of the Government of India to promote safe and orderly migration, but also with target 10.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration. 
  • As of December 2021, the number of Indian diaspora globally has crossed 32 million. It is the world's top recipient of remittances. India ensures the welfare of its overseas Indians through initiatives such as pre-departure orientation training, Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) for assistance in distress, help portal for grievance redressal and Know India programme. 

3.8th Indian Ocean Naval Symposium concluded in Bangkok, Thailand 

  • The 8th Indian Ocean Naval Symposium was held in Bangkok, Thailand. The conference was organized by the Royal Thai Navy of Thailand from 19-22 December 2023. 
  • During the Naval Chiefs' Conference, Thailand took charge of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium and decided on the work plan for the next two years. India also took over as the Co-Chair of the IONS Working Groups on Maritime Security and HADR for the upcoming cycle. 
  • In this, Indian Navy Chief Admiral R. Harikumar participated with a three-member Naval delegation. The flag designed by India was selected as the flag of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium. 
  • The Republic of Korea Navy was welcomed as the latest 'Observer' at the Conclave, increasing the collective strength of IONS to 34 (25 Members and 09 Observers).
  • The 7th edition was hosted by the French Navy in La Reunion from 28 June to 01 July 2021. IONS 
  • It was conceived by the Indian Navy in 2008 as an open and inclusive platform to enhance maritime cooperation between the navies of the coastal states of the Indian Ocean Region. 
  • The inaugural edition of IONS was held in New Delhi in February 2008, with the Indian Navy as the Chair for two years (2008 – 2010). India is also scheduled to take charge as the Chair of IONS (2025-27) during the 9th COC to be held in India in late 2025. 

4.Uday A Kaole Takes Over as CMD of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd 

  • Uday A Kaole has assumed the charge of the Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) of Coal India arm Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL). 
  • Before joining MCL as its CMD, Kaole was the Director (Technical) at Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL). 
  • Kaole has over 36 years of rich technical and administrative experience in the coal mining sector. He has a long experience of working in challenging underground coal mines operations, as well as in the opencast mines. 
  • He had joined Coal India as Junior Engineering (Trainee) in 1987 and served at various important positions in Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) and South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL). 

5.Amrita Raichand named Health Ambassador for Salaam Bombay Foundation 

  • Amrita Raichand partners with Salaam Bombay Foundation, becoming a Health Ambassador for their Preventive Health Education Programme. 
  • This incredible partnership is set to make a real difference in the lives of at-risk adolescents from the urban slums of Mumbai, promoting the importance of healthy living and simple nourishing recipes where it is needed most. 
  • The initiative focuses on advancing nutrition knowledge in underserved communities, mainly among Mumbai’s urban slum adolescents. 

Recent Brand Ambassador 

  • Sourav Ganguly – Tripura Tourism 
  • R Madhavan – The insurtech company Acko 
  • Pankaj Tripathi – UPI Safety Ambassador 
  • MS Dhoni – State bank of India 
  • Katrina Kaif – Swiss Watchmaker ‘Rado’ 
  • Chetan Bhagat – Henry Harvin Education 
  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni – Lay’s 
  • Mohammed Shami – Sports brand Puma 

6.Bisleri made Deepika Padukone its first global brand ambassador

  • Bisleri, India's leading mineral water brand has roped in Deepika Padukone as its first global brand ambassador and the new Bisleri campaign #DrinkItUp. 
  • Jayanti Chauhan, Vice President, Bisleri International Private Limited said, “Bisleri is synonymous with hydration. Our new campaign Bisleri #DrinkItUp embraces the fun and excitement of reimagining hydration in an iconic style with Deepika Padukone for the first time. We are thrilled to have him as our first global brand ambassador as his work and values align with our brand philosophy. Bisleri International forays into sparkling water segment with Vedika.
  • The Bisleri #DrinkItUp campaign has been shot by Nirvana Films and directed by ace-director Prakash Varma, while Bisleri and Padukone's collaboration was managed by Wavemaker and GroupM ESP. 

7.Manipur Initiates “SAANS” Campaign to Counteract Pneumonia 

  • In Manipur, the State Health and Family Welfare Minister Sapam Ranjan Singh has launched the Social Awareness and Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully (SAANS) Campaign 2023-24 at Imphal. 
  • The Minister also inaugurated the State Newborn Resource Centre at Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) in Imphal. 
  • In connection to the launching of SAANS Campaign 2023-24, the Minister said that Pneumonia is a common, preventable, treatable disease if precautionary steps are taken up at the right time. Since the disease is preventable, the Health Department is emphasizing spreading awareness to the people. 

About Manipur 

  • Capital – Imphal 
  • Chief Minister – Biren Singh 
  • Governor – Anusuiya Uikey 

8.The evolving role of the Colombo Security Conclave 

  • In December, India's National Security Adviser (NSA), Ajit Doval, took part in the sixth NSA meeting of the Colombo Security Conclave (CSC). The meeting reviewed the developments and progress made by the CSC in the last year and agreed upon a road map for the year 2024 to promote a safe, secure, and stable Indian Ocean. The meeting also included member-states, Mauritius and Sri Lanka, and observer-states, Bangladesh and Seychelles. The Maldives, now under a new dispensation, was the only member-state that was absent, underscoring the impact of domestic politics over regional collaboration. It is imperative for India to continue pushing for a proactive CSC to address the challenges in the Indian Ocean.
  • Changing dynamics The CSC underscores the evolving dynamics of the Indian Ocean. The organisation came into its own in 2011, with Sri Lanka joining India and the Maldives for a trilateral maritime security grouping but came to a standstill after 2014 due to rising tensions between India and the Maldives. In 2020, India not only pushed for the revival and institutionalisation of the organisation but also expressed interest in expanding the CSC to Mauritius, the Seychelles, and Bangladesh. The push for the CSC demonstrates India's evolving strategic vision for the Indian Ocean. 
  • The Indian Ocean is at the heart of an evolving multipolar world today, with extra-regional powers competing to make inroads in the region. This competition will further increase as the Indo-Pacific's importance grows For India, a traditional power in the region, the CSC offers an opportunity to strengthen its leadership and security architecture. Since its Independence, India has played an increasing role in promoting security in the Indian Ocean. The lack of capacity of island nations to secure the seas and counter transnational threats has continued to motivate India to assist them in defence and security-related capacity building, is Vice-President for Studies and Foreign Policy at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi. 
  • Aditya Gowdara Shivamurthy is an Associate Fellow, South Asia, at the Observer Research Foundation 
  • All the members of the CSC. which are democracies, will continue to play their cards based on domestic and external benefits, infrastructure development, and equipment provision. India has also played a vital role as the first responder in the region, be it to avert coups or to offer humanitarian and economic assistance during COVID-19 and multi-faceted crises. The CSC offers India an opportunity to institutionalise its role, shape the regional security architecture, and better address the existing and emerging threats. 
  • A revival that is linked to the China factor China is another crucial reason for the revival of CSC. 
  • Since the early 2000s, Beijing has invested substantively in the Indian Ocean with its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects, helping it access the Indian Ocean. Beijing's outreach to the Indian Ocean is to control the crucial sea lines of communication and trade and to limit India's influence and presence. 
  • Today, China is not only strengthening its naval capabilities; it also maintains strong defence relationships with states in the Indian Ocean region and also conducts regular maritime exercises in the Ocean. It has established a base in Djibouti and controls Sri Lanka's Hambantota port. It continues to use scientific ships to map the Indian Ocean bed. Finally, it also wants to counter the prevailing security architecture in the Indian Ocean by institutionalising its presence through platforms such as the Indian Ocean Region Forum on Development Cooperation. 

9.Fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine not required, says INSACOG chief 

  • Senior health officials say there is no decision yet to recommend administration of a vaccine booster dose following the Union Health Ministry's recent direction to the States to be prepared for any possible surge in COVID-19 cases in the wake of the emergence of the JN.1 variant. 
  • N.K. Arora, who heads the India SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSA- COG), told The Hindu on Sunday that there was no need for a fourth booster dose. "Those over 60 years of age who have co-morbidities and high-risk patients in this age group may take a precautionary third dose, if they have not taken one till now. As of now, there is no need for a fourth dose for the general public. We will advise precaution and not panic," Dr. Arora said. 
  • He said new variants, sub-variants and mutations were being reported from around the world. 
  • "Fortunately, none of these Omicron variants have really been associated with more severe disease or hospitalisation. Symptoms of the JN.1 sub-variant include fever, nasal discharge, cough, occasional diarrhoea, and severe body aches, with recovery typically within a week The Health Ministry has already directed States to increase testing and submit positive samples for further probe," he said. 

10.140 private universities set up in India over past 5 years; a Gujarat has highest share 

  • As many as 140 private universities were established in the country during the past five years with the highest number being set up in Gujarat, followed by Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, show data provided by the Union Education Ministry. 
  • The data say 28 private universities were established in Gujarat and 15 in Maharashtra during the period. 
  • Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka have 14 and 10 of them, respectively. 
  • "A private university is established by an Act passed by the State legislature concerned and notifi- cation issued by the State government concerned," a senior Education Ministry 
  • 28 universities started in Gujarat during the period, 15 such institutions were established in Maharashtra, officials said. "The name of a private university is included in the list of universities by the University Grants Commission (UGC) as per Section 2(f) of the UGC Act, 1956, on receipt of the copies of the Act and notification from the university," he said. Such private universities are empowered to award general degree programmes without the specific approval of the commission, the official said. 
  • "However, the approvals for running professional and medical programmes are given by the respective regulatory or statutory bodies, and such programmes are governed by the norms of respective bodies such as the All Indian Council for Technical Education, National Medical Commission, and the Dental Council of India," he added 

11.External Affairs Minister to visit Russia from December 25-28 

  • External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar will visit Russia from December 25 to 28. During the visit, he will interact with Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, the External Affairs Ministry said on Sunday. 
  • Mr. Jaishankar is expected to meet his counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, who visited Delhi during the G-20 summit when he led the Russian delegation to the event. 
  • "The time-tested India-Russia partnership remained stable and resilient and continues to be characterised by the spirit of the Special and Privileged 
  • Strategic Partnership," said the Ministry announcing the visit, during which Mr. Jaishankar is scheduled to meet officials in Moscow and St. Petersburg. 
  • Mr. Jaishankar's visit is being viewed as an important exchange between the two sides as this will give an opportunity for discussion in the absence of the year-end India-Russia summit, which was last held in 2021, and has not been held since due to Russia's war in Ukraine. 

International News 

12.USA researchers develop vaccine to reduce 'bad' cholesterol 

  • Researchers in the USA have developed a vaccine to block a protein that increases cholesterol levels, by creating an antibody response against the particles. It was created from the vaccine platform technology developed at the University of New Mexico. 
  • This vaccine has been tested on rats and monkeys with promising results. 
  • A new vaccine developed by researchers at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine could be a game-changer, offering an inexpensive way to lower "bad" LDL cholesterol, which forms dangerous plaques that can block blood vessels. 
  • This is a new drug that targets the PCSK9 protein; A molecule made in the liver that circulates through the bloodstream and negatively regulates the metabolism of LDL cholesterol. 
  • Basically, the more PCSK9 your body makes, the higher your LDL cholesterol will be. Twice-monthly injections to block that protein reduced their bad cholesterol by about 60%. 

University of New Mexico 

  • In a recent study published in nPJ Vaccines, a team led by Bryce Chakerian, PhD, Regents Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, reported that the vaccines reduced LDL cholesterol almost as effectively as PCSK9 inhibitors. An expensive class of drugs known in. 
  • Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in our blood. It is important for the healthy functioning of the body. It helps form the structure of cell membranes and produce hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. 
  • Too much cholesterol can cause serious problems, including heart disease and stroke. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), high cholesterol causes 4.4 million deaths every year. Untreated high cholesterol can lead to heart disease and stroke. 

13.Angola to quit OPEC 

  • Angola is leaving the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) with effect from 1 January 2024, after exits from Ecuador in 2020 and Qatar in 2019. 
  • Angola, which joined OPEC in 2007, produces about 1.1 million barrels per day, compared with 28 million bpd for the whole group. 
  • OPEC was founded in 1960 by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Venezuela, Iran and Iraq. Angola joined the group in 2007. 
  • Since 2017, OPEC has worked with Russia and other non-members as part of the OPEC+ group to manage the market, in whose agreements Angola participated. 
  • Angola’s departure from OPEC will leave it with 12 members and crude oil production of about 27 million bpd, some 27% of the 102 million bpd world oil market. 


  • Angola would join other nations with relatively small oil output that have left in recent years. 
  • Qatar in 2019 quit OPEC to focus on gas, which some analysts interpreted as a swipe at Saudi Arabia, the oil exporting group’s de facto leader. 
  • Ecuador left in 2020 and Indonesia suspended its membership in 2016 


  • Some small producers have also joined OPEC in recent years. Equatorial Guinea became a full member in 2017 and Gabon re-joined in 2016. Congo became a full member in 2018 

About Angola 

  • Capital- Luanda 
  • Currency- Angolan kwanza 
  • President- João Lourenço 
  • Continent- Africa 

Defence News 

14.Iran’s navy adds sophisticated cruise missiles ‘Talaeieh and Nasir’ to its armoury 

  • Iran’s navy has added domestically produced sophisticated cruise missiles to its arsenal. 
  • Both Talaeieh and Nasir cruise missiles have arrived at a naval base near the Indian Ocean in the southern Iranian port of Konarak, some 1,400 kilometers (850 miles) southeast of the capital, Tehran. 
  • The Talaeieh has a range of more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) and called it “fully smart”. The cruise missile is capable of changing targets during travel.
  • The Nasi has a range of 100 kilometers (62 miles) and can be installed on warships. 

About Iran 

  • Capital – Tehran 
  • Currency – Rial 
  • President – Ebrahim Raisi 

Economy News 

15.Fitch expects India to be among fastest-growing nations in 2024-25 

  • Fitch Ratings expects India to be among the world’s fastest-growing countries, with resilient GDP growth of 6.5% in 2024-25. For the current financial year 2023-24, it pegs GDP growth at 6.9%.
  • Demand will remain strong for cement, electricity and petroleum products, with high-frequency data in 2023 sustained at well above pre-Covid-19 pandemic levels. 
  • India’s rising infrastructure spending will also boost steel demand. Car sales will continue to rise, despite our expectation of moderation after robust growth in 2023. 
  • India is currently the world’s fifth-largest economy, following the US, China, Germany, and Japan. By 2030, India’s GDP is projected to exceed Japan’s, making India the second-largest economy in the Asia-Pacific region. 
  • Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected India to grow at 6.3% in the current financial year 2023-24 and the next. 
  • In December 2023, Goldman Sachs Research projected India’s growth rate to be the highest among 13 large economies in 2024, at 6.2%. China is projected to be second at 4.8%. 
  • S&P also projected India’s GDP to grow 6-7.1% annually in fiscal years 2024-2026. 
  • The Reserve Bank of India, while maintaining status quo in key policy rates, recently raised India’s GDP growth forecast for the financial year 2023-24 by 50 basis points to 7%. In its October meeting, RBI had forecast 2023-24 growth at 6.5%. 

Updated GDP List 

  • Goldman Sachs – 6.2% (FY24) 
  • Fitch Rating – 6.9% (FY24), 6.5% (FY25) 
  • IMF – 6.3% (FY24), 6.3% (FY25) 
  • ICRA –6.5% (FY24) 
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank – 6.8% (FY24) 
  • Citigroup – 6.7% 
  • DBS – 6.8% 
  • ADB –6.7% (FY24), 6.7% (FY25) 
  • Morgan Stanley – 6.9%(FY24) 
  • RBI –7% (FY24) 
  • Nomura – 6.7% (FY24) 

16.Centre plans to revive tax cuts on sugar exports 

  • The Union government is trying to work out a mechanism to provide tax remission benefits on exports of sugar, which was placed in the 'restricted" category in mid-2022, and is also considering a demand from tea exporters to raise their tax remission rates. 
  • The Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products (RODTEP) scheme, launched in January 2021, is aimed at ensuring that no domestic taxes are added onto goods' shipments meant for export. Authorities had denied benefits under the scheme to sugar exporters after the sweetener was removed from the 'free' category in June 2022 as a pre-emptive measure to boost domestic availability and avoid a spurt in prices. 
  • Earlier this month, the Gujarat High Court noted that the government had allowed the export of sugar from time to time based on specific permissions and held that those shipments should be considered eligible for the RODTEP benefits. The court had underlined that a distinction was warranted between goods whose exports are restricted altogether, and those that are restricted with conditions. 

Appointment News 

17.Pramod Sharma appointed as Director (Works) of NHSRCL 

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Pramod Sharma for the post of Director (Works) of National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL). 
  • NHSRCL is an implementation agency for high-speed rail projects in India. 
  • Appointed on a deputation basis, his term extends until he reaches 60 years or further orders. 
  • Sharma is an Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) officer of 1989 batch. Presently, he is serving as Principal Executive Director (Contract) of NHRSCL. 
  • NHSRCL was incorporated in 2016 to manage the High-Speed Rail Corridor in India. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Indian Railways, Ministry of Railways. The objective of this body is the development and implementation of high-speed rail projects in India. 

Important Day News 

18. 25 December – Good Governance Day 

  • Governance Day, or Sushasan Diwas is observed on December 25 every year to mark the anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. This year marks the 99th birth anniversary of the former PM. 
  • The day is celebrated to create awareness about government accountability and administration among the people.
  • The purpose behind the Good Governance Day is to raise awareness among citizens, particularly the young generation, who are the country’s future. 
  • To hold the government responsible and maintain good governance in the purest sense, it is critical that the citizens understand their roles and responsibilities. 
  • Born on December 25, 1924, in Gwalior, present-day Madhya Pradesh, Atal Bihari Vajpayee served as the Indian Prime Minister thrice – first in 1996 for a term of 13 days, then for 13 months between 1998 and 1999, and later followed by a full term from 1999 to 2004. 
  • A renowned poet and writer, Vajpayee was the first-ever leader from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to become the Prime Minister of India. 
  • In 2014, the newly-elected Narendra Modi government announced that December 25 would henceforth be called the “Good Governance Day”, in honour of the former Prime Minister. 
  • In 2015, he was honoured with the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour. 

19. 24 December – National Consumer Rights Day 

  • National Consumer Rights Day is observed every year on 24 December. 
  • It is also referred to as Bhartiya Grahak Diwas. While the market runs on certain ethics and values, sometimes people can exploit us if we do not know our rights well enough. 
  • The awareness of the rights helps us to maximize our benefits as a customer and enable an ethical flow of goods and services in the market. 
  • In 1986, the Consumer Protection Act was passed and it received the assent of the President on December 24. Since then, National Consumer Rights Day has been celebrated on this day to commemorate the occasion. 
  • The Consumer Protection Act acts to protect consumers from defective goods, negligent services, and unfair trade practices. 

Award News 

20.Karnataka bags National Energy Conservation Award 2023 

  • Karnataka bagged first place in the State Designated Agency (SDA Group-1) category at the National Energy Conservation Awards – 2023 (NECA 2022) held in Delhi. 
  • The Bureau of Energy Efficiency organized the awards as part of the National Energy Conservation Day. 
  • Karnataka has scored highest and placed as a top-performing State categorized as Front runner across India for three consecutive years- SEEI 2020 and SEEI 2021-2022 and 2023. 
  • President of India, Droupadi Murmu handed over the award to KP Rudrappaiah, Managing Director, Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited, as an appreciation for the state’s achievement in energy conservation. 
  • KREDL was chosen for the award based on the energy efficiency projects implemented in the state. 

21.Sai Sudharsan awarded ‘impact fielder of the ODI series 

  • India’s debutant Sai Sudharsan was awarded the ‘Impact Fielder of the Series’ medal by India’s fielding coach Ajay Ratra after the KL Rahul-led side clinched the 3-match ODI series against South Africa 2-1 
  • India defeated South Africa by 87 runs in the series decider as KL Rahul became only the second Indian captain after Virat Kohli to win an ODI series on South African soil. 
  • Sudharsan was commended for a brilliant catch during the third ODI match, contributing to India’s 78-run victory. 

Science and technology News 

22.Opportune pause Uncertainty over the Science Congress's schedule is a chance to evaluate it 

  • The Indian Science Congress (ISC) is an annual event where a slice of the country's scientific community gathers to present and discuss research and communicate science. It has curried prestige by having each edition inaugurated by the Prime Minister and, often, a Nobel Laureate or two in attendance. But in the past few years, the ISC's reputation has been in tatters after it offered itself as a platform for a few members of the scientific community to advance pseudoscientific claims, particularly those that dovetailed to hyper-nationalist narratives in other spheres. Now, the ISC's 109th edition, originally to be held in Lucknow University in 2024, has been cast in doubt after the University pulled out citing an ongoing dispute between the Department of Science and Technology (DST), a significant source of funds for the event, and the ISC Association, the autonomous body under the DST that organises it. The association then picked Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar to host it but the decision drew the DST's ire, including an unspecified allegation of "financial irregularities" on the association's part. Then Lovely pulled out as well even as the association went to court against the DST citing government interference. The association has also published a notice seeking the interest of other universities to host the 2024 event and has constituted a committee to find a new venue. 
  • This pause in the ISC's schedule is an opportunity to consider the relevance of the ISC. Of course, some reputed scientists have called the post-2014 event a "circus" that is deleterious to the cause of science in India, so the uncertainty may not bother them. But the ISC also hosts thousands of school and college students every year as well as some talks by researchers that contri- bute to learning and awareness. This is not as straightforward as a plea to throw away only the bathwater, not the baby. The ISC is itself flawed, with its oracular choice of speakers, disjointed agenda, and hectic schedule not facilitating meaningful engagement. Since 2015, the Indian government has also been rooting for the India International Science Festival, an event put together by the Ministries of Science and Technology and of Earth Sciences, the Departments of Space and of Atomic Energy, and Vijnana Bharati, an outfit connected to the Sangh Parivar. In effect, what the ISC should become is an independent, more frequent, and more coherent event after a critical appraisal of what the national scientific community, including its members in the private sector, offers to bring to the table. Everything else including the presence of political leaders and Nobel Laureates is ornamental. 

Sports News 

23.Sanjay Singh becomes new president Wrestling Federation of India 

  • Sanjay Singh has become the new president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). 
  • He beat Anita Sheoran in the 50-vote electoral college 42-7 to claim the post. 
  • Associated with the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for the past 12 years as part of the governing council, Singh, who hails from Varanasi, was promoted to the post of joint secretary in 2019. 

24.Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur launched the mascot of the 6th Khelo India Youth Games ‘Veera Mangai Velu Nachiyar 

  • Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur and Tamil Nadu Sports Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin released the official jersey and mascot 'Veera Mangai Velu Nachiyar' of the 6th Khelo India Youth Games in Chennai. 
  • Velu Nachiyar was the first queen to fight against the British colonial power in India. 
  • Tamil people know her as Veeramangai (brave woman). She was the princess of Ramanathapuram. 
  • Squash will be included in this edition of Khelo India Youth Games. The torch of Khelo India Youth Games was handed over to the Sports Minister by squash champion Joshna Chenappa and hockey player S Mariswaran. 
  • These games will be held from 19 to 31 January next year. These games will be held in Chennai, Trichy, Madurai and Coimbatore. More than 5500 players and more than 1600 coaches are expected to participate in it. 
  • Khelo India Youth Games was started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018 under the name of Khelo India School Games. In 2019, its name was changed to Khelo India Youth Games. The last five editions of Khelo India Youth Games were held in Delhi, Pune, Guwahati, Panchkula and Bhopal. 
  • Khelo India Youth Games Winners List- 2018 Haryana, 2019 Maharashtra, 2020 Maharashtra, 2021 Haryana and 2022 Maharashtra. 

25.Former South Africa captain Dean Elgar announces retirement from international cricket 

  • Former South Africa captain Dean Elgar has announced his retirement from international cricket after a test series against India concludes early next month. 
  • Elgar, who has scored more than 5,000 runs with 13 centuries in his 84 tests, will play his final test at Newlands in Cape Town starting January 3. 
  • Elgar said, The Cape Town Test will be my last. My favourite stadium in the world. A place I scored my first Test run against New Zealand and hopefully my last too. 
  • Elgar made his debut against Australia in Perth in 2011, making a duck in each innings in an inauspicious start to his 12-year test career, which has yielded 5,146 runs, including a high score of 199 against Bangladesh in 2017. 
  • He is South Africa’s eighth highest scorer in tests. 
  • Elgar was elevated to captain in March 2021, replacing Quintin de Kock, and led the Proteas to series wins in the West Indies and at home against India, and a draw in New Zealand. 
  • A nightmare tour of Australia 12 months ago, where the opener averaged just 9.33 runs across the series, saw Elgar replaced as captain by Temba Bavuma in February. 

Recently Retired Players

  • Asad Shafiq – All forms of cricket – Pakistan 
  • Gurkeerat Singh Mann – International Cricket – India 
  • Meg Lanning – International Cricket – Australia 
  • Sunil Narine – International cricket – West Indies 
  • David Willey – International Cricket – England 
  • Sornnarin Tippoch – International Cricket – Thailand 
  • Alastair Cook – International Cricket – England 
  • Steven Finn – All forms of Cricket – England 
  • Alex Hales – International Cricket – England 
  • Manoj Tiwary – All forms of cricket – India

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