Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 30th November 2023


National News 

1.MNCs Granted Approval For Deploying Advanced Train Collision Avoidance System On Indian Railways 

  • The Indian government has granted approval to two multinational corporations, Siemens AG from Germany and Kyosan Electric Manufacturing Co from Japan, to deploy the automatic train collision avoidance system known as Kavach on the Indian Railways. 
  • This marks a significant expansion of the initiative, which was previously undertaken by three Indian companies—Medha Servo Drives, HBL Power Systems, and Kernex Microsystems. 
  • Railways minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced in New Delhi that the deployment of the Kavach system is set to increase from the current 1,500 km per annum to an impressive 5,000 km per annum by 2025-26. 
  • This substantial boost in deployment capacity is expected to enhance the country’s capability to implement Kavach, an indigenously developed open-source technology. 

2. Cabinet approves 124,104-cr. outlay for tribal welfare 

  • The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a special development mission for Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) with a total outlay of over 24,104 crore over a three-year period. 
  • Of the 24,104 crore, 15,336 crore will be funded by the Union government and 28,768 crore by the respective State governments, an official statement said. 
  • The PM Janjati Adivasi Nyay Maha Abhiyaan (PM- JANMAN), which was announced at the Union Budget and launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 15, is meant to improve the overall sociol economic conditions of the 75 recognized tribal groups as particularly vulnerable. 

3.Union WCD Minister Launches ‘Anganwadi Protocol For Divyang Children’ 

  • The Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, recently launched the Anganwadi Protocol Divyang Children in a national outreach program at Vigyan Bhawan on November 28, 2023. 
  • The event aimed to strengthen the overall well-being of Divyang children and was attended by key officials, experts and stakeholders from various ministers and organisations. 
  • Union Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani highlighted the ongoing efforts, with over 4.37 core children receiving support for meals and ECCE, 4.5 crore children aged 0 to 3 benefiting from take-home relations and home visits and more than 8 crore children monitored for growth and health referrals. 

4.Museum on airmen who went down over 'The Hump' opens 

  • A museum dedicated to fallen airmen flying for the Allied forces during World War II was inaugurated in Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday. The Hump WWII Museum at Pasighat, headquarters of the East Siang district, has been named after a treacherous air route between north-eastern Assam and Yunnan in China. Some 650 aircraft crashed from 1942-45 on this route. 
  • "We come here today not just to mark history but to make history. To see the ways with which each one of us is called not just to witness the past but to do something to change the future," Eric Garcetti, the U.S. Ambassador to India, said after inaugurating the museum with Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu. 
  • "This is not a gift only to Arunachal Pradesh or to the families whose lives will be affected when they come here but a gift to India and to the world," he said. 
  • Mr. Khandu said 'The Hump' was a tribute from the people of his State to the fallen heroes of WWII. "The museum will remind the younger generation of the bravery of the Allied pilots who flew over The Hump to fight against the threat to democracy and freedom," he said. 
  • The CM urged Mr. Gareric Garcetti, U.S. Ambassador to India, with Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu. cetti to facilitate the exploration of 30 locations in Arunachal Pradesh where remnants of WWII aircraft are still believed to exist. 
  • Mr. Khandu also lauded the efforts of Oken Tayeng, director of the museum, and his team in making The Hump a reality. 
  • The pilots of the Allied forces nicknamed the route 'The Hump' because their aircraft had to navigate deep gorges and mountains rising beyond 10,000 feet. 

5.Centre to provide drones to 15,000 women's groups for use in agriculture 

  • The Centre will provide women self-help drones for 15,000 propres alve 10 be retired Soups (SHG) out to farmers for agricultural purposes. The drone services are envisaged to be used by the farmers for nano fertiliser and pesticide applications. 
  • The decision was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime In Minister Narendra Modi, ans Union Information and and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur told press persons on Wednesday, 

6.The ECI must act independently as the arbiter of election code breaches 

  • The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) that parties and governments are expected to follow during election campaigning is well-meaning, but not easy to enforce. The MCC is largely dependent on the cooperation of parties and governments and the vigilance of the Election Commission of India (ECI). Some of its clauses are declarations of intent, such as maintaining the "purity of the election process''. In recent days, the ECI has wielded the MCC against the Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and its Delhi unit president; Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi; Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) supremo and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao and his son and cabinet colleague K.T. Rama Rao following alleged violations of various kinds. In a more consequential move, the ECI has withdrawn its permission for the Telangana government to credit cash to farmers under the Rythu Bandhu scheme ahead of voting on November 30. The ECI found statements made by State Finance Minister T. Harish Rao to be in violation of the MCC. But curiously, the Congress government in Karnataka has been served notice for issuing advertisements that might influence voters in Telangana. The Gandhis were served notices for using allegedly derogatory words against Prime Minister Narendra Modi based on the BJP complaints. 
  • This catalog of ECI actions might give an appearance of even-handedness, but issues that it did not address too require attention. Congress complaints against Mr. Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, for charges comparable if not more serious than those against Opposition leaders, have been ignored. The ECI has not responded to a Congress complaint that the Enforcement Directorate tried to tilt the scale in Chhattisgarh by making a public accusation against Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, in the midst of elections, that he had received kickbacks from a fugitive. The merits of this case apart, weaponization of investigations by central or State agencies for political purposes during an election can be an unfair interference. It is doubtful that the ECI has proven itself up to the task and demonstrated its capacity to act fairly and objectively. In this context, a government move to legislate the supremacy of the executive in the appointment of the members of the ECI is worrisome. Under the proposed scheme, the ruling party at the Centre will solely control the composition of the ECI. That is not good news for free and fair elections in India 

International News 

7.Nepal Becomes First South Asian Nation To Register Same-Sex Marriage 

  • The Constitution of Nepal, adopted in 2015, took a bold step by explicitly prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. Nepal became the first South Asian country to formally register a case of same-sex marriage. 
  • This event occurred in the Dordi Rural Municipality of Lamjung district in Western Nepal, where the union of trans-woman Maya Gurung, 35, and gay man Surendra Pandey, 27, was legally recognized. 
  • In 2007, Nepal’s Supreme Court had already set the stage by allowing same-sex marriage, laying the foundation for the recent groundbreaking development. Fast forward to June 27, 2023, when the Supreme Court issued an interim order in response to a writ petition, temporarily legalizing same-sex marriage. 

8.Fourth edition of ASEAN India Grassroots Innovation Forum begins in Malaysia 

  • 200 participants represented India along with 10 ASEAN Member States (AMs) at the 4th edition of the annual ASEAN India Grassroots Innovation Forum (AI GIF) launched in Langkawi, Malaysia on 28 November 2023. 
  •  Mr YB Chang Lih Kang, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Government of Malaysia, launched A GIF 2023. ANIGIF is an annual event that focuses on promoting stronger relations between India and AMS based on cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). 
  • While on one hand it aims to promote social innovations in different countries, it also strengthens governance in the grassroots innovation ecosystem. 
  • The annual event is a collaboration between the ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI); Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India; National Innovation Foundation (NIF) -Ministry of Science and Technology of India and host country, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) of Malaysia, Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia (YIM) is an agency under MOSTI which is implementing A GIF in the year 2023. Is . 
  • Previous editions have been held in Jakarta, Indonesia (2018), Davao, Philippines (2019), and Phnom Penh, Cambodia (2022). 

9. U.S. blames Indian official w for 'plot' against Pannun 

  • India has set up a "high-level" committee to inquire into the US allegation about an Indian plot targeting Gurpat want Singh Pannun, a US based Khalistani activist wanted on terror charges, the External Affairs Ministry announced here on Wednesday The explosive indictment by the US. The Department of Justice, which was publicly released on Wednesday, accuses a senior Indian Intelligence official, as yet unnamed but referred to as CC-A, of masterminding the assassination plot. The indictment alleges that the official enlisted an individual named Nikhil Gupta to hire a hitman with an advance payment, 
  • The panel will probe nexus between organised criminals, Bunrunners, terrorists, and others, the MEA said 
  • What does the US Justice Department say? involvement of Indian operatives, including an Indian Intelligence official
  • Indictment by US authorities of individuals, including indian wanted criminal Nikhil Gupta, now under arrest, for advance payoff of $15,000 for hitman and also suggests that the Gujarat Police dropped criminal charges against Mr. Gupta at the behest of the Indian Intelligence official to facilitate the contract killing It says there is a link bet 
  • India has formed a panel to probe allegations of a plot to kill Khalistan separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on US, soil 
  • Links between plot against Pannun and killing of Hardeep Singh Nigar in Canada Gujarat Police dropped charges against Gupta at the ween the plot against Mr. Pannun and the one that led to the killing of Har led to Singh Nilar, which Canada has accused Indian government agents of masterminding The defendant (Nikhil Gupta) conspired from India to assassinate, right here in New York City, a the US. citizen of Indian origin who has publicly advocated for the establishment of a sovereign state for Sichs, an ethno-religious minority group in India, US Ar wrney Damien Williams said in a press release. "We will not tolerate efforts to assassinate US citizens on US soil, and stand ready to Investigate, thwart, and prosecute anyone who seeks to harm and silence P Americans here or abroad," Mr. Williams said. Nikhil Gupta was arrested in the Czech Republic C on June 30 and is being held pending extradition relectures to the US, 

10.Argentina's Milei commitment to freedom in U.S 

  • Argentina's President elect Javier Milel met on Tuesday with senior Biden administration officials at the White House in his first international trip since winning a presidential runoff earlier this month. 
  • The right-wing Mr. Milel had a "positive meeting" with White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, the President-elect's office said in a statement. The visit by Argentina's incoming leader occurred while President Joe Biden was away from Washington at a memorial for former first lady Rosalynn Carter in Georgia and then traveling to Colorado. The statement from Mr. Milei's office said he had expressed "his views on the international geopolitical agenda aligned with the West and his commitment to the values of freedom." It added that Mr. Sullivan, speaking on behalf of the administration, "conveyed the willingness of the U.S. to cooperate in the transition of the incoming Argentine government, given the challenging political, economic and social circumstances that the country The White House issued statement saying that Mr. a Sullivan and Mr. Milei discussed economic issues and "shared priorities such as investing in technology and clean energy, advocating for human rights, and standing up for democracies around the world.” 

11.Powerful explosion in Anak Krakatoa volcano of Indonesia 

  • The Anak Krakatau volcano, located in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra, Indonesia, had a powerful eruption on 26 November 2023, sending ash clouds reaching a height of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) above sea level. 
  • Andy Suardi, head of the volcano monitoring post in Rajabasa district, confirmed the eruption and urged people, especially fishermen, to maintain a safe distance of at least 5 km (3.1 mi) from the volcano. The nearest settlement to Anak Krakatau is Sebesi Island, located approximately 16.5 km (10.2 mi) away. 
  • It experienced a catastrophic eruption in 1883, which led to the formation of the present caldera, and has experienced a steady increase in volcanic activity over the years since June 1927, resulting in it becoming much larger and rising to 157 metres above sea level. The height has been reached. 
  • The latest eruption has brought back terrifying memories of the devastating events of 2018 when the eruption of Anak Krakatoa caused a devastating tsunami.Earlier in March 2023, Indonesia's Mount Merapi, one of the world's most active volcanoes, had erupted. 

12.Police deny permission to host solidarity event for Palestine 

  • As November 29 marks International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, a Palestinian theater group called for a world wide artist solidarity action. In response to this, artists from Bengaluru planned to gather at Ranga Shankara, one of India's finest performance spaces, to read poems and short plays on Palestine. 
  • However, a day before the event, on Tuesday, the J.P. Nagar police asked Ranga Shankara for details of the event, and later denied permission to conduct it. The event was a current event. 

State news

13.Govt. lists four J&K Bills, criminal law legislation 

  • The Union government has listed four Bills related to Jammu and Kashmir, including the one pertaining to reservation of Assembly seats for "Kashmiri migrants", to be taken up for discussion in the Winter Session of Parliament that commences December 4. 
  • The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023; the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023; the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Castes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023; and the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023 were introduced in the Lok Sabha on July 26 but were taken up for discussion or passage in the Monsoon Session. 
  • The J&K Reorganisation Amendment Bill seeks to nominate two members from the "Kashmiri migrants" community, who "migrated" when militancy was at its peak in 1989- "Pakistan-occupied Kashmir" who was displaced in the 1947-48, 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan wars. 
  • Preserving rights The Bill aims "to preserve their political rights" and "overall social and economic development." 
  • Other than this the three new criminal codes, Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) Bill, 2023; Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) Bill, 2023; and Bharatiya Sakshya (BS) Bill, 2023, that will replace the Indian Penal Code, 1860; Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898; and Indian Evidence Act, 1872, respectively, have also been listed to be taken up for passage in the upcoming session. 
  • 90, as members of the Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory of J&K. One of the members will be a woman. 
  • It also proposes to nominate one member from The Bills introduced on August 11 in Parliament and referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs for examination which submitted its report this month. 

14.Ruckus over committee G formation, 'sexist remarks March MCD House session 

  • The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) House proceedings on Wednesday were marred by ruckus, with the Opposition councillors demanding the constitution of the civic body's Standing Committee even as members of the Congress accused an AAP councillor of making "sexist" remarks. 
  • When reached for comment, respond. AAP did not Amid the chaos, the House passed 18 proposals without any discussion, including the installation of 11,000 CCTV cameras in schools and the recruitment of 2,949 security guards and 3,640 sanitation workers.
  • As soon as the House proceedings started, the Opposition councillors started demanding the formation of the Standing Committee, the 18-member financial decision-making arm of the MCD whose constitution has been pending since the civic body election in December last year. 
  • Both AAP and the BJP are fighting for control over the panel as it has executive powers to grant financial approval to projects worth over 15 crore. tees and nominated members, are yet to be held. 
  • The BJP members also di raised slogans over the stray dog menace and "rising" dengue cases. They also rallied behind the wo man councillor of the Congress, Shagufta Chaudhary Zubair, after she accused an AAP member of making remarks. objectionable 
  • The Congress councillors also staged a sit-in out- side Mayor Shelly Oberoi's office and sought the recording of the House proceedings to identify the AAP member who allegedly made the remarks. 
  • Six members of the panel, three from AAP and BJP each, were elected by the MCD House in February after the mayoral election. Elections for the remaining 12 members, to be elected by ward commit 
  • Ms. Zubair said someone from the ruling party passed the remarks while she was speaking on issues concerning her ward. 
  • "If this is how elected leaders are treated inside the House, I fear for the women in the city," the Chauhan Bangar ward councillor said. 

15.Centre and Manipur ink deal with banned Meitei insurgent body 

  • The Centre and the Manipur government have igned a peace agreement with the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), a banned Meitei extremist organization and also the oldest armed group based in the Manipur valley, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Wednesday. “The UNLF has agreed to renounce violence and Join the mainstream. I welcome them to the democratic processes," Mr. Shah said. 
  • The UNLP was formed in 1964 and has been operating both within and outside Indian territory, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said. 
  • It is one of the eight Meltel extremist organisations that the MHA has declared as unlawful associations under the anti-terror law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. 
  • Last week, the ban against these groups, which seek Manipur's secession from India, was extended for another five years. 

Defence News

16.MAHASAGAR, Indian Navy’s Initiative Between Maritime Heads 

  • On November 29, 2023, the Indian Navy marked a significant milestone with the inaugural edition of MAHASAGAR, a high-level virtual interaction aimed at promoting active security and growth in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). 
  • The event brought together heads of navies and maritime agencies from Bangladesh, Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.
  • The chosen theme, “Collective Maritime Approach towards Countering Common Challenges,” underscored the imperative for harmonizing and collaborating capacities and capabilities in the IOR. The dialogue focused on developing a united front against challenges that transcend individual national boundaries. 

17.The Hump air route passes over Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tibet, Myanmar, and Yunnan (China)

  • From 1942 to 1945, military aircraft transported nearly 6,50,000 tonnes of supplies like fuel, food, and ammunition. Some 650 aircraft crashed while negotiating the terrain and extreme weather conditions.
  • The remains of about 400 U.S. airmen are believed to be located in the Himalayan mountains in the northeast, particularly in Arunachal Pradesh. 

Economy News 

18.OECD Sees India Growth A Bit Under The Weather 

  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has revised its growth projections for India, anticipating a further slowdown in the coming fiscal years. 
  • The Indian economy is expected to grow at 6.3% in FY24, slightly under the 6.7% growth seen in Q2FY24. However, the outlook for FY25 is even more conservative, with a projected growth of 6.1%. 
  • The OECD report points to adverse weather-related events as a significant factor affecting India’s economic performance. Additionally, the global economic outlook is considered a key driver of the projected slowdown. 

19.Global growth to slow next year, but IRE economy will avoid a hard landing’ 

  • Global growth is set to moderate hom 2.9% this year to 2.7% in 2004 before picking up in 2005 to 3.0%, the Paris-based policy to rum said in its latest Economic Outlook.
  • Growth in advanced economies that make up the OECD'S 38 members was seen beaded for a soft landing with the United States holding up better than expected so far: 
  • The OECD forecast US growth would slow from 2.4% this year to 1,5% next year, revising up its estimates from September, when it had predicted US growth of 2.2% in 2023 and 13% in 2024 Though the risk of a hard landing in the US and elsewhere had eased. the OECD said that the risk of recession was not off the table given weak housing markets, high oil prices and sluggish lending 
  • China's realty bubble' China's economy was also expected to slow as it grapples with a deflating real estate bubble and consumers save more in the face of greater uncertainty about the outlook, Its growth was seen easing from 5.2% this year to 4.7% in 2024-both marginally higher than expected in September-before slowing further in 2025 to 4.2%, the OECD forecast. 
  • In the euro area, growth was seen picking up from 0.6% this year to 0.9% in 2024 and 1.1% in 2025 as Germany, the region's largest economy, emerged from a recession this year. 
  • Nonetheless, the OECD warned that, because of the high level of bank financing in the eurozone, the full impact of interest rate hikes remained uncertain and could weigh more on growth than expected. 
  • And Japan would see growth slow from 1.7% this year to 1.0% in 2024 before picking up to 1.2% in 2024. 

Summits & Conferences News 

20.2 Day Seminar On Santha Kavi Bhima Bhoi & Mahima Cult Legacy Launched In Bhubaneswar 

  • Union Minister for Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, inaugurated the two-day ‘International Seminar on Santha Kavi Bhima Bhoi and the legacy of Mahima Cult‘ in Bhubaneswar. 
  • Shri Pradhan, in his inaugural address, emphasised the significance of the literary contributions of Santha Kavi Bhima Bhoi and Santha Balaram Das’s Laxmi Puran. Shri Pradhan expressed his admiration for the enduring relevance of Bhima Bhoi’s philosophy, stating that it remains a guiding principle for society. 
  • Rooted in the spiritual and cultural landscape of Odisha, the Mahima Cult represents a unique religious movement focusing on simplicity, equality, and devotion to the formless Divine. 
  • Mahima Gosein and his disciple, Bhima Bhoi, played pivotal roles in the late 19th-century Odia society, leaving an indelible mark through the Mahima Movement 

Schemes News 

21.Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra Launched In SWGH 

  • An impressive launch marked the initiation of the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra in South West Garo Hills, orchestrated by the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) at MFC, Ampati. 
  • The nationwide initiative, a pivotal component of the Hamara Sankalp Viksit Bharat campaign, aims to inform and empower citizens about the various flagship schemes and programs introduced by the Central Government. 
  • The core objective of the Viksit Bharat Yatra is to raise awareness and facilitate the delivery of welfare scheme benefits to the vulnerable population. The campaign focuses on reaching out to citizens, disseminating information, learning from the people and enrolling beneficiaries in the process. 

22.Cabinet Approves Pradhan Mantri Janjati Adivasi Nyaya Maha Abhiyan 

  • The Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has recently approved the Pradhan Mantri Janjati Adivasi Nyaya Maha Abhiyan (PM-JANMAN), a comprehensive initiative aimed at addressing the challenges faced by Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs). 
  • The PM-JANMAN is designed to implement 11 critical interventions, spanning across nine ministries, including the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. The comprehensive approach ensures that various facets of the PVTGs’ challenges are addressed collaboratively. 
  • The Ministry of Ayush plays a pivotal role in the PM-JANMAN initiative by establishing Ayush Wellness Centres in line with existing norms. These wellness centres aim to provide traditional Ayush healthcare facilities to PVTG habitations. 

23.It will focus on 11 critical interventions, part of existing schemes, and will be implemented by nine Ministries. 

  • The Prime Minister had launched the development mission for Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups on Nov. 15 
  • The mission aims to build 4.9-lakh pucca houses, lay 8,000 km of connecting roads, and bring piped water to all households in over 22,000 villages. It will also provide community water pipelines to 2,500 Particularly Vulnera- ble Tribal Groups villages, each with fewer than 20 households. 
  • The scheme aims to build 2,500 anganwadi centres, set up 1,000 mobile medical units (10 per district), install mobile towers in 3,000 villages, and set up 500 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras to facilitate the sale of forest produce. 
  • The Skill Development Ministry will facilitate the skills and vocational training in the selected villages. 

24.The scheme will have a financial outlay of 1,261 crore for two years beginning 2024-25

  • The groups would be Identified from the total 89 lakh SHGs formed under tion the Deendayal Antyodaya ve," Yojana, Mr. Thakur said adding that appropriate clusters where usage of drones Is economically feasible will be identified.
  • The groups would get Central financial assistance at 80% of the cost of drones. The total expense of a drone and its accessories is about 10 lakh. About 80% of the cost or up to 28 lakh, will be provided by the Centre, he said. The drone pilot will get an honorary sum of 15,000 and a co-pilot about $10,000. 
  • A well-qualified member of the SHG, aged 18 and above, will be elected for a 15-day training, comprising five-day mandatory drone pilot training and additional 10-day training for agriculture purpose of and pesticide trient application, while another member of the group will be selected for training as technician or assistant. 
  • The approved initiatives under the scheme is expected to help these self help groups earn an additional income of at least 1 lakh a year, 

25.Free foodgrain scheme to continue for five more years 

  • Days after Prime Minister Narendra Chhattisgarh announced that the scheme to provide free foodgrains to 81.35 crore people would be extended by life years, the Union Cabinet took a formal decision on Wednesday to continue it from January 1. The news ends on December 31. 

Awards News 

26.Abdullahi Mire Wins 2023 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award

  • Abdullahi Mire, a Somali refugee, has been named the 2023 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award Global Laureate for his work championing the right to education for displaced children. 
  • Mire, who grew up in the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya, has put over 100,000 books in the hands of displaced children and youth in the country. He will be presented with the award at a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland, on December 13, 2023. 
  • The UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award was established in 1954. The award is presented annually to an individual or organisation for outstanding service to refugees. 
  • The UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award consists of a commemorative medal and a monetary prize of USD 100,000. The global laureate is expected to reinvest the prize in the humanitarian initiatives they are being recognized for. 

27.Abbas Amini's Persian film 'Endless Borders' won the Golden Peacock Award for Best Film at the 54th IFFI

  • The 54th edition of the International Film Festival of India was held in Goa from 20 to 28 November 2023. 198 films were shown in the International section including 13 world premieres including the opening film 'Catching Dust'; 'About Dry Grass' was the mid-fest film and 'The Featherweight' was the closing film. The 'Indian Panorama' section showcased 25 feature films and 20 non-feature films from India. The opening film in the feature section was a Malayalam film, Aattam, and in the non-feature section was Manipur's Andro Dreams. 

Golden Peacock Award for Best 

  • Film – Persian film Endless Borders directed by Abbas Amini. 
  • Silver Peacock Award for Best 
  • Director – went to Bulgarian director Stefan Komanderev for the film Blagaz's Lessons. 
  • Silver Peacock Award for Best Actor (Male) – Iranian actor Pouria Rahimi Sam for the film Endless Borders. 
  • Silver Peacock Award for Best Actor (Female) – French actress Mélanie Thierry for the film Party of Fools. 
  • Special Jury Award - Indian filmmaker Rishabh Shetty for the film Kantara. 
  • Best Debut Feature Film Award -Regar Azad Kaya of the Syrian Arab Republic for the film When the Seedlings Grow. 
  • ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi Medal French, British and Greek co-production Drift, directed by Anthony Chen. 
  • Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award – Hollywood actor and producer Michael Douglas. 
  • 1st Best Web Series (OTT) Awards –‘Panchayat Season 2’ directed by Deepak Kumar Mishra and Rocket Boys Season 1 directed by Abhay Pannu received special mentions in this category. 

Prize Money 

  • Best Film - Golden Peacock 40,00,000/- ($48823) 
  • Best Director - Silver Peacock - 15,00,000/- ($18308) 
  • Best Actor (Male & Female) - Silver Peacock - 10,00,000/- ($12205) 
  • Special Jury Award – Silver Peacock – 15,00,000/- ($18308) 
  • Best Debut Feature Film, Director -Silver Peacock - 10,00,000/- ($12205). 

Appointments News 

28.Mizoram Governor Appoints Air Force Officer As India’s First Woman Aide De Camp 

  • Governor Dr Hari Babu Kambhampati has appointed Squadron Leader Manisha Padhi, a distinguished officer from the 2015 batch of the Indian Air Force, as India’s first Woman Aide-De-Camp (ADC) from the Indian Armed Forces. 
  • Squadron Leader Manisha Padhi, having formally assumed her duties, reported to the Governor this afternoon. With a distinguished career in the Indian Air Force, she brings a wealth of experience to her new role. 
  • Prior to this historic appointment, she served in various capacities at Air Force Station, Bidar, Air Force Station, Pune and Air Force Station, Bhatinda. Her journey through these postings reflects not only her dedication to her profession but also her ability to excel in diverse and challenging environments. 

Sports News 

29.Hockey Punjab Wins 13th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship 2023 

  • In a thrilling final match, Hockey Punjab emerged victorious over Hockey Haryana to clinch the gold medal at the 13th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship 2023. The tournament was held from November 17 to 28, 2023, at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. 
  • Led by their captain, Harmanpreet Singh, Hockey Punjab defeated Hockey Haryana with a close margin of 9-8 after the match was tied 2-2 at regulation time. This marks Hockey Punjab’s fourth title in the tournament’s 13 editions. 
  • The Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu secured the bronze medal, defeating Hockey Karnataka in a decisive match. This victory placed them at third position in the tournament. 

Science & Technology News 

30.Railways To Upgrade ‘Kavach’ To LTE: Ashwini Vaishnaw

  • In a bid to enhance railway safety and address concerns over increasing accidents, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced the Ministry of Railways’ plans to upgrade its indigenous anti-collision system, Kavach, to 4G/5G (LTE-based) technology. 
  • Kavach, developed indigenously, has been deployed across more than 1,465 route kilometres (rkm), with ongoing work for an additional 3,000 rkm. The Ministry of Railways aims to expedite the implementation of this anti-collision system and make it more efficient over longer ranges. 
  • Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw disclosed that tenders for the next-generation Kavach would be released between May and June next year. The ministry plans to float tenders for the upgrade of the existing Kavach technology to LTE by the next month. 

31.NASA will launch ‘AWE Mission’ to study space weather 

  • NASA will launch the Atmospheric Wave Experiments (AWE) mission to study 'airglow' to understand space weather. 
  • It is the first NASA experimental effort of its kind aimed at studying the interaction between terrestrial and space weather. 
  • Built by Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory in North Logan, Utah, AWE will be mounted on the exterior of the space station. 
  • It will measure at an atmospheric layer that starts at an altitude of about 54 miles (87 kilometres), known as the mesopause. 
  • In the mesopause, our atmosphere is illuminated by colourful bands of light known as airglow. AWE will record variations of the airglow in infrared light. 
  • At these altitudes our atmosphere drops to its coldest temperature, reaching -150 degrees Fahrenheit (-101 degrees Celsius). 
  • It has been planned under NASA's Heliophysics Explorers Program. It will perform focused mapping of coloured airglow in Earth's atmosphere.Onboard AWE is an Advanced Mesospheric Temperature Mapper (ATMT), an instrument that will scan or map the mesopause (the region between the mesosphere and thermosphere). 

Obituaries News 

32.Henry Kissinger, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Passed Away 

  • Henry Kissinger, a towering figure in American foreign policy, passed away on November 29, 2023, at the age of 100. He served as the United States Secretary of State under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, and played a pivotal role in shaping US foreign policy during the 1970s. 
  • Kissinger was born Heinz Alfred Kissinger in Fürth, Germany, on May 27, 1923. Kissinger entered government service in the 1960s, serving as a consultant to the National Security Council and the Council on Foreign Relations. He also taught at Harvard University and Columbia University. 
  • During his tenure, Kissinger played a key role in several major foreign policy initiatives, including: The opening of relations with China 
  • The SALT I arms control agreement with the Soviet Union 
  • The Paris Peace Accords, which ended the Vietnam War 

Banking News 

33.Odisha Chief Minister launches 'AMA Bank' for Gram Panchayat Banking

  • Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched "AMA Bank" scheme, a landmark initiative which aims to provide banking services through CSP Plus banking outlets in all unbanked Gram Panchayats (GPs) of Odisha.
  • The Government of Odisha collaborated with six public sector banks – SBI, PNB, UBI, UCO Bank, Bank of India and Bank of Baroda to launch the “Ama Bank” scheme. 
  • The objective of this initiative is to set up low cost micro bank branches. AMA Bank, situated between a Business Correspondent (BC) and a small bank branch, is mandated to provide essential banking services like deposits, advances, remittances, loans, Aadhaar enabled payment system,credit linkage to Self Help Groups (SHGs). 
  • In the initial phase, 750 CSP Plus outlets strategically spread across all 30 districts were dedicated to the people of Odisha. The Government believes that achieving inclusive growth is intrinsically linked to providing financial inclusion to every citizen. 
  • Doorstep banking services for senior citizens, persons with disabilities and pregnant women will be the hallmark of this inclusive scheme, ensuring hassle-free access to direct benefit transfers. 

Miscellaneous News 

34.Uttar Pradesh to establish India's first Center of Excellence in Telecom in Saharanpur 

  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has approved the establishment of the country's first Telecom Center of Excellence in Saharanpur. The foundation stone of this unprecedented initiative will be laid on December 5, 2023. 
  • With the establishment of Telecom Center of Excellence in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh is taking an important step towards technological advancement, innovation and self-reliance in the telecom sector. 
  • The Telecom Center of Excellence, located at the Saharanpur campus of IIT Roorkee, will conduct research on integrating 5G with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and even delve into the realm of 6G technology. 
  • Promoting innovation and growth in the telecom sector, this state-of-the-art centre will be constructed at a cost of Rs 30 crore. 
  • Its primary objective is to conduct research and development in the telecommunication sector, assist experts in various fields, develop and promote cutting-edge technology. 
  • The Center will give priority to proper use of telecom in sectors like e-learning, e-education, agriculture and satellite centres.
  • The integration of 5G with AI will be a major focus, opening the way for the development of new technological devices. 
  • The centre aims to develop standards-essential patents, last-mile access, broadband access to remote areas, cellular backhaul, disaster management solutions, network-enabled consumer electronics, defence and security applications, aerospace aviation/satellite communications,virtual reality, smart city initiatives, smart manufacturing and e-healthcare are to be achieved. 

Agreement News 

35.Sri Lanka reaches deal with India, Paris Club on debt plan

  • Sri Lanka has reached an "agreement in principle" with India and the Paris d Club group of creditors, including Japan, on a debt treatment plan that will help the crisis-hit island nation tap the next tranche key of the International Monetary Fund's nearly $3-billion recovery package. 
  • 70- "The OCC [Official Creditor Committee) and Sri Lanka agreed on the main parameters of a debt treatment consistent with those of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement between Sri Lanka and the IMF," the Paris Club said in a statement on Wednesday. While the statement did not spell out the parameters, the OCC said it "stands ready and looks forward to formalising" the agreement in the coming weeks in a Memorandum of Understanding with Sri Lanka. 
  • At the height of last year's crippling economic crisis, Sri Lanka decided to default on its nearly $51 billion foreign debt. A comprehensive restructuring of loans became necessary to begin an economic recovery programme backed by the IMF. Major lenders formed the OCC in May 2023 in response to Colombo's request for debt treatment. It is co-chaired by India, Japan, and France, as chair of the Paris Club. The Committee has held several discussions with Sri Lanka authorities over the last few months, evaluating possible options in re-watch 
  • Sri Lanka has assured creditors of China's transparent participation in the restructuring process casting Colombo's outstanding debt, such as altering the interest payments or the terms of the loans. China, Sri Lanka's largest bilateral creditor, has opted to stay out of the platform, but has attended the meetings as an obser- ver. Japan and India, Sri Lanka's other two major lenders, have repeatedly emphasised the need for creditor parity and transparency. In an apparent reference to China, the OCC on Wednesday noted that it expects "other bilateral creditors" to consent to "sharing, in a transparent manner, the information necessary for the OCC to evaluate comparability of treatment regarding their own bilateral agreement." 
  • The OCC further asked Sri Lanka to continue to engage with its private creditors who hold the largest chunk of the island's foreign debt and swiftly firm up "an agreement on terms at least as favourable as the terms of- fered by the OCC". 
  • China has assured Sri Lanka of cooperation in the debt restructuring process and Sri Lanka has, in turn, assured other creditors of China's transparent participation, but the specifics of the possible debt treatment plan are awaited. 

Infrastructure and Energy News 

36.India's largest circular railway, 287 km long, will be established in Bengaluru. 

  • Karnataka's Bengaluru plans to set up a 287-km-long circular railway, aiming to potentially become the country's largest suburban network, overtaking Chennai's 235.5-km-long circular railway. 
  • Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav unveiled the ambitious project during a press conference after a comprehensive review of railway projects in Bengaluru and sanctioned Rs 7 crore for feasibility and alignment studies. 
  • The Circular Railway attempts to connect major cities around Bengaluru. It goes beyond current needs and envisions transportation solutions for the next 40-50 years.
  • The envisaged circular railway is designed to follow a hub-and-spoke model, integrating the city core with seven spokes located approximately 20–25 km apart. 
  • In essence, Circular Railways can be seen as the railway version of the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR). The rail-based system is envisioned to enhance public transportation, similar to successful models in other global cities such as Tokyo, London, Delhi or Bengaluru. 
  • The proposed network around Bengaluru city is Nidavanda-Doddaballapur (40.9 km), Doddaballapur-Devanahalli (28.5 km), Devanahalli-Malur (46.5 km), Malur-Heelalige (52 km), Hejjala-Soloor (43.5 km), Solur-Nidavanda ( 34.2 km), and Hejjala-Heilalagi (42 km). 
  • The funds will be released to Rail Infrastructure Development Company (Karnataka) Limited (KRIDE), a joint venture of the Karnataka State Government and the Ministry of Railways, by the end of this year. 

37.Al Jaber denies allegations of using climate talks to strike fossil fuel deals 

  • COP-28 president-designate Sultan Al Jaber on Wednesday described as "false" reports earlier this week that alleged the United Arab Emirates, the host of the conference, planned to use climate talks to further oil and gas deals with other countries visiting for negotiations. climate 
  • "These allegations are Ch false, not true, incorrect, of and are not accurate. It is an attempt to undermine the work of the COP-28 presidency," said Mr. Al Jaber, who is also the UAE's Minister of Industries and Advanced Technology. 
  • The BBC, based on leaked documents, reported this week that Abu Dhabi National Oil Corporation (ADNOC), which Mr. Al Jaber heads, had prepared "talking points" and plans to meet with representatives from at least 27 countries to expand oil and gas exploration projects. Mr. Al Jaber has previously been criticised for his dual roles as COP President where he is expected to be impartial and neutral while furthering the world's transition away from fossil fuel as well as CEO of ADNOC, one of the world's leading oil and gas companies. 
  • "Let me ask you a question. Do you think the UAE, or myself, would need the COP or the COP presidency to establish business deals or commercial relationships? I promise you. Never ever did I see these talking points that they refer to or that I ever even use such talking points in my discussions. Every meeting I have conducted with every government, or any other stakeholder has always been centred around one thing only, and that is my COP-28 agenda and how we can collectively, for the first time ever, adopt a mindset that is centred around implementation and action to keep 1.5 degrees Celisus within reach," he said at a press briefing on Wednesday. 
  • The temperature refers to a target following the 2015 Paris Agreement for countries to strive to cut greenhouse gas emissions so that they would keep global temperatures below that level. 
  • Mr. Al Jaber said that given the position he holds as COP president, he was "told to" engage with governments and oil and gas companies to put pressure (on them to give up fossil fuel), and other times that he ought not to be doing so. 
  • "We have been clear and open and clear and honest and transparent on how we're going to conduct this COP process," he asserted. 

38.Major oil and gas firms have pledged to go carbon neutral by 2050: COP-28 chief 

  • Several oil and gas companies have committed to become net zero or carbon neutral-by 2050, the 28th Conference of Parties (COP-28) president-designate Sultan Al Jaber said at a press briefing on Wednesday ahead of the two week-long United Nations climate summit that begins on Thursday. 
  • He did not reveal the names of the organisations that had committed to achieving the milestone. More information would be made public in the coming days, said Mr. Al Jaber, who is the UAE's Minister of Industries and Advanced Technology. 
  • "For the first time ever, a significant number of oil and gas companies are aligned towards net zero targets by 2050 and net zero methane targets by 2030. It is for the first time that oil and gas [firms) are taking responsibility. First time that they are aligning. It has never happened be- fore," said Mr. Al Jaber, who is the CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). 
  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that oil and gas operations account for around 15% of total energy-related emissions globally, or about 5.1 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Another major step that the COP-28 presidency under the UAE could take credit for was getting the world's two major economies, the U.S. and China ``aligned" toward climate action and reducing methane emissions, he said. 

Rank and Report News 

39.Virgin Atlantic becomes the world's first commercial airline to use 100% sustainable aviation fuel 

  • Virgin founder Richard Branson said his company Virgin Atlantic made history by operating the world's first 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) flight on a Boeing 787 from London's Heathrow to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. 
  • Virgin Atlantic's Boeing 787, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, completes long-haul flight using 100% SAF. Notably, it is the first commercial airliner to achieve such a feat, underscoring the industry's push for cleaner alternatives. 
  • According to the UK government,this flight is a major milestone towards making air travel more eco-friendly. European airlines, including Virgin and British Airways, aim to use 10% SAF by 2030, with the industry aiming for "net zero" emissions by 2050. 
  • In December 2022, the UK Government provided €1 million in funding to Virgin Atlantic to support the industry in achieving the first transatlantic flight on a commercial aircraft 100 percent operated by SAF. 
  • The flight marks an important step towards reducing emissions in an industry responsible for 2-3% of global carbon emissions. 
  • SAF currently accounts for less than 0.1% of global jet fuel usage due to high production costs and material supply constraints. The industry is relying on SAF derived from waste to potentially reduce emissions by up to 70%. 
  • The SAF used for flight was obtained from a mixture of used cooking oil, waste animal fat and a small amount of synthetic flavoured kerosene from waste corn. 

40.Unemployment rate in urban areas has come down: survey

  • The unemployment rate in urban areas of the country decreased from 7.2% in July-September 2022 to 6.6% in July-September 2023, according to the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). The survey for the period July-September 2023 was released on Wednesday by the Union Labour Ministry. If 6.6% is the unemployment rate for persons of age 15 years and above, for men, it is 6%. For women, it decreased from 9.4% in July-September last year to 8.6% this year. 
  • The labour force participation rate (LFPR) in urban areas increased to 49.3% in July-September 2023 for persons aged 15 years and above. "While for males, LFPR increased to 73.8%, for females, LFPR increased to 24.0%," the Labour Ministry said. 

41.Explain reason for Gyanvapi report delay: court to ASI

  • The Varanasi district court on Wednesday asked the Archaeological Survey of India (AST) to explain the reason for seeking more time for submitting a scientific survey report of the Gyanvapi mosque complex and posted the matter for hearing on Thursday.
  • Taking up the plea of the ASI seeking three additional weeks to submit the survey report, District Judge A.K. Vishvesh asked a senior ASI official from Delhi to explain the need for more time, to which the ASI counsel said that officials in Varanasi have been handling the task and will apprise the district court about it. 
  • The Muslim side, represented by lawyer Mohammad ikhlaq, objected to the ASI repeatedly seeking more time. 

Indian Polity 

42.The Opposition had criticised Mr. Modi for making such an announcement without the Cabinet's approval 

  • The Centre launched the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana in March 2020 during the CO VID-19 pandemic lockdowns and ended it in December 2022. From January 1, 2023, the scheme had subsumed other schemes under the National Food Security Act such as the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households for one year. AAY card holders will get 35 kg of foodgrains for a family every month and the beneficiaries of the other scheme will 5 kg a person a month.
  • After the Cabinet meeting, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said government expenditure for the scheme would be around 11.8 lakh crore for the next five years. "This is a historic decision that places PMGKY among the world's biggest social welfare schemes aimed at ensuring food and nutrition security for B135 crore persons, at an estimated cost of t 11.8 lakh crore over a five-year period," are Jesse said. 
  • "Ensuring food security at this scale during Amris Kaal would play a pivotal role in dedicating efforts b towards building an aspirational and developed India," the statement said. 
  • The government said the scheme would provide nation-wide uniformity in the delivery of foodgrains free of cost in all States and Union Territories through a network of over five lakh fair price shops under a common logo, "It will also enable ease of living, in terms of allowing beneficiaries to lift free of cost foodgrains from any fair price shop in the country under the One Nation One Ration Card initiative," the Centre said.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post