Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 15th January 2024

1.Muizzu sets March 15 deadline for India to withdraw troops 

  • Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu has asked India to withdraw its troops from the island nation by March 15, a top official said on Sunday, posing the latest in a series of diplomatic challenges from Male to New Delhi since his September election win. 
  • Abdullah Nazim Ibrahim, the Principal Secretary to President Muizzu on Public Policy, told a media conference at the Presidential Palace in Male that Indian military personnel will no longer be permitted to reside in the Maldives, according to Male-based media. 
  • The senior official's announcement was made even as the India-Maldives High-Level Core Group set up when Mr, Muizzu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met on the sidelines of the UN climate summit (COP-28) in Dubai held its first meeting in Male. However, a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs after the meeting made no mention of a request for Indian troops' withdrawal. Instead, it noted that both sides discussed "finding [a] mutually workable solution to enable continued operation of Indian aviation platforms that provide humanitarian and medevac [medical evacuation) services to the people of Maldives''. 
  • In contrast, the press statement issued by the Maldives' Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: "Both sides expressed willingness to intensify cooperation and agreed to fasttrack the withdrawal of Indian military personnel.” 

2. Prohibitive gains Rising Lood prices may affect already weak consumption of goods 

  • Inflation measured by the Consumer Price Index expectedly quickened to a four month high in December, with the measure of gains In food prices accelerating at a relatively faster pace as inflation in cereals and pulses stayed stubbornly sticky. While headline retail inflation ticked up by 14 basis points from November's level to 5.69%, price gains measured by the Consumer Food Price Index accelerated by 83 basis points from the preceding month's reading to 9.53% in December. The upsurge in food prices was largely driven by cereals, the biggest constituent of the 'food and beverages' group that logged 9.93% inflation. 
  • Though that pace was marginally slower than the 10.3% posted in November, the key sub-group that includes the staples of rice, wheat and coarser cereals continued to register a month-on-month rate of inflation that offered little comfort to households. Disconcerting, sequential price gains accelerated the most in the case of jowar and bajra by 63 and 106 basis points, respectively, from November's month-on-month inflation rates. These two coarse cereals are consumed more widely in the rural hinterland, particularly by those already facing varying degrees of precarity. 
  • Price gains in pulses, a key protein source in vegetarian households, also accelerated to a 43-month high of 20.7%. With the current rabi season's sowing of pulses as on January 12, almost 8% lower than in the corresponding period of 2023, the outlook for their prices in the coming months is far from reassuring. 
  • Year-on-year inflation in vegetable prices also registered a dizzying almost 10 percentage points increase from November's level, accelerating to a five-month high pace of 27.6%. Tomatoes and onions again led the charge, with their prices rising by over 33% and 74% from December 2022's levels, respectively. However, reflecting the seasonal volatility that vegetable prices are prone to, prices of both the kitchen staples, as well as the broader sub-group, witnessed sequential deflation.
  • While the month-on-month deflation in overall vegetable prices was 5.3%, the prices of potatoes, onions and tomatoes contracted from November by 5.9%, 16% and 9.4%, respectively. Still, the average retail price of a majority of the 23 food items monitored on a daily basis by the Department of Consumer Affairs continues to remain higher as on January 14 than the year-earlier level, reflecting the challenge policymakers face in containing food-price inflation. With households likely to spend larger shares of their incomes on food as these costs continue to rise, there is a real risk that the knock-on impact on already weak consumption can derail the broader growth momentum in the economy. And with the spiraling crisis in West Asia infusing a new level of uncertainty over global trade and energy costs, policymakers have their task cut out. 

3. Urdu poet Munawwar Rana passes away at 71 

  • Renowned Urdu poet Munawwar Rana passed away at the Sanjay Gandhi PostGraduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow on Sunday. He was 71. 
  • He was suffering from throat cancer for a long time. The poet is survived by his wife, four daughters, and a son. He will be laid to rest on Monday. 
  • 'Maa' is considered one of his most famous poems. 

4. New investments slid 46% in Q3 as manufacturing, infra outlays shrank 

  • Freah Investment plana strescu halved between October and December 2023 from the previous quarter, with public capital expenditure projects tripping at a faster pace of almost 60%, while proposed private sector. 
  • This marked the third successive quarter of sequential decline in new in Q3. Overall investment vestment projects after plans dropped 45.7% they hit a record high in quarter-on quarter. 7 the fourth quarter (04) of 2022-23, data front Investment tracking Arm Pro Jeets Today show Proposed Investments halved for all sectors barring electricity, with irriga Hon (down 70%) and manufacturing (61.8% lower) witnessing the sharpest drop. 
  • The decline in manufacturing Investment plans came on the back of quarter on quarter drops of TAG% and 2.3% in the first two quarters of 2023-24, respectively and was most pronounced in eritteat sec forms such as automobiles 003.09%), esteel (24.8%), and cement cap. 1 Prom around 30% of the 105 lakh crore of new investment announced in Q2 of this year, manufacturing projects accounted for just 21% of ₹80,000 odd erore of the t3.83 lakh crore Investments planned. 
  • Fresh Investments in the Infrastructure sector, where commitments by the State and Central governments are the highest, fell for the second successive quarter on a sequential basis, contracting 56.1% in Q3 after a 10.9% fall in Q2. While new road projects slumped 56%, with 194 projects worth €25,904 crore, fresh railway Investment plans plummeted by a much sharper 92.2%, with only 28 new projects announced between October and December worth 25,758.6 crore compared with 48 projects worth 174,000 crore in the previous quarter.After registering a growth of 66.7% in the last quarter of 2022-23, the quarterly announcement of fresh investment by the Central government sector declined by 18.5%, 46.6%, and 72% in the first three quarters of this year, respectively. In all, during the October December 2023 period, 175 new projects worth ₹29,751 crore were announced in this sector,” as per the latest quarterlyProjects Today. "The Central government seems to have opted for fiscal consolidation by restraining the Initiation of new projects in this fiscal," it noted. The value of new mining projects also dropped 53.7% sequentially to 25,813 crore, but the construction sector saw a relatively milder decline of 21.5%, with 675 projects worth 181,350 crore announced in the third quarter.Among the States, Maharashtra emerged as the top Investment destination in Q3 with 470 new projects worth 1.04-lakh crore, followed by Karnataka (243,383 crore), Uttarakhand (234,024 crore), and Gujarat (31,379 crore). These four States accounted for 56% of the total new Investments announced between October and December. 

5. We are prepared to protect territorial integrity at all costs, says Army chief 

  • The Indian Army continues to maintain a "robust posture" on the borders and is prepared to protect the country's territorial in- tegrity at "all costs", Army chief General Manoj Pande said on Sunday, amid the over three-year festering border row with China in eastern Ladakh. On the eve of Army Day, General Pande said the force is fully committed with an "unwavering resolve" to counter any security threat, asserting that its fundamental character, core ethos and professionalism will enable it to live up to the expectations of citizens. 
  • "We continue to maintain a robust posture at the borders and stand prepared to protect our territorial integrity at all costs," he said in a message aired on Akashvani. 
  • Without naming Pakistan, General Pande said the Army and other security forces are dealing with the "proxy war" in Jammu and Kashmir with a professional approach. "In combating proxy war in the hinterland, our synergised operations with other security forces continue," he said. 
  • The Army will be observing 2024 as the 'Year of Technology Absorption’ a theme which underscores the focus and effort to leverage technology, as a catalyst for transformative change, General Pande said. 

6. Seant snow snaps skiers' plans in Shimla and Kufri 

  • Falling snow cover and warmer temperatures over the years are pushing the ski slope regions from the middle-altiracie hills of Ri machal Pradesh to the higher reaches, leaving ski enthusiasts dejected and triggering anxiety among winter sports lovers about the changing climate is mid January, but Shimit is yet to get the season's first snowfall. Over the past decade, the city has been witnessing an inconsistent, abrupt, and reducing trend of snowfall. This has forced winter sports enthusiasts to move to the higher reaches of the mountains to scout for snow-capped slopes. 
  • In the past, Kufri town, a popular tourist spot at around 8,800 feet, was a paradise for skiers. However, given the gradual decrease in snowfall and rampant construction on the once-pristine ski slopes there, skiers now prefer high-altitude slopes in the Solang valley in Manali, and at Keylong and Sissu in Lahaul-Spiti district, situat- ed at 9,000-10,300 feet
  • "This year, so far, there has been no substantial snowfall at Kufri. Last week, mild snowflakes occurred which were negligible. The trend of decreasing snowfall has been seen for around two decades now. The snow months have shrunk. This is an ominous sign for winter sports. Till the mid-1990s, there used to be snowfall in November as well, and intermittent spells of snow often continued till March and even beyond at times. But in the past [few] years, the pattern has changed and snow spells have been largely limited to January February.. Kufri, which was once the first choice of ski lovers since the British time, is now losing its winter charm," Sanjeev Atri, a retired ski instructor based Kufri, told The HinduWhile Shimla has had no snowfall this winter, last year's situation was hardly any different-just 6 cm of snow the entire season, the third lowest in the city's recorded history, says the India Meteorological Department (IMD). While 2005-06 was another nosnow year, the city recorded a scant 1.8 cm of snowfall in 2009-10 The data indicates that Shimla is witnessing a decreasing snowfall. A decreasing trend of snowfall and rainfall on average has been observed across the State during the past decade or so, and it is naturally a matter of concern. A gradual temperature rise could be a reason behind this," said Surender Paul, Director of IMD at Shimla. 
  • Concerned over the depleting snow, Himachal Pradesh Winter Games Association president Luder Thakur pointed out that organizing winter sports this year had turned difficult even on higher altitude slopes given the absence of decent snow cover. 
  • "In the past few years, after Kufri started witnessing less and abrupt snowfall, the skiers shifted to higher altitude slopes... we have been organizing winter sports competitions on slopes at Sissu and Keylong in the Lahaul-Spiti district, besides at Solang Valley in Manali. To have a decent and groomed ski slope for skiing, there should be at least 2-3 feet of snow on the slope, and intermittent spells should continue. However, this year, as there has not been a rich spell of snow so far, the winter sports enthusiasts are de- jected. We are eagerly waiting for snowfall as we are to hold the junior national winter games, which includes alpine skiing, cross country, and snowboarding at Sissu, but with slopes staying dry in the absence of snow, the wait is getting longer," he said. 

7. Karnataka Govt. Launched ‘Yuva Nidhi’ Scheme For Jobless Youth 

  • Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah and Deputy CM D.K. Shivakumar have launched the Yuva Nidhi scheme in Shivamogga, Karnataka. 
  • The scheme offers financial aid to graduates and diploma holders who are yet to get a job, but only for a maximum of two years.
  • Training will be provided to the graduates and diploma holders who register themselves on the Skill Connect portal of the State Government.
  • The government has promised ₹3,000 per month to degree holders and ₹1,500 per month to diploma holders who were unable to get a job in the past six months and are not pursuing higher studies. The aid will be paid for two years. 
  • The launch was held on the birth anniversary of youth icon Swami Vivekananda. 

About Karnataka 

  • Capital – Bengaluru 
  • Chief Minister –Siddaramaiah 
  • Deputy Chief Minister – DK Shivakumar 
  • Governor – Thawar Chand Gehlot 

8. First ‘Made In India’ Memory Chip Is Expected To Be Produced In 2024: Ashwini Vaishnav 

  • Union Electronics and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnav said the first ‘Made In India’ Memory chip is expected to be produced in Gujarat this year. 
  • Addressing a seminar on Semiconductors and Electronics at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in Gandhinagar, the Minister said Micron’s investment in Gujarat will pave the way for creating a Semiconductor ecosystem in India. 
  • The Minister also asked Semicon Giant Micron to undertake research in the semiconductor industry and set up a research centre at IIT Gandhinagar. 
  • During the summit, an MoU was exchanged between Gujarat Government and Korean company Simmtec. Also, partnership agreements were signed between Micron and Nantech, and Cisco and Nantec. 

9. 32nd International AYUSH Conference Inaugurated In Dubai 

  • The second International AYUSH Conference and Exhibition was inaugurated at the Dubai World Trade Centre, orchestrated by the Science India Forum and the Ministry of AYUSH. 
  • The three-day event was dedicated to showcasing AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy) as a reliable healthcare system for preventing and managing Non-Communicable Chronic Diseases (NCDs).
  • The focal theme of the conference, “Non-Communicable Chronic Diseases – Prevention & Management through AYUSH,” aims to highlight AYUSH as a prevention-oriented and cost-effective approach to creating a disease-free society. 
  • With over 1500 experts expected from India, the Middle East, Far East, Africa, Europe, Australia, and America, the conference is set to become a global platform for discussions and collaborations in the field of traditional medicine. 

10. South Korea Bans Trade Of Dog Meat In New Law 

  • The South Korean parliament has passed a Bill banning the production and sale of dog meat, in a decision that campaigners hailed as a “historic victory” for animal welfare. 
  • Although the Bill does not criminalise the consumption of dog meat, it aims to ban the sale, distribution, butchery, and breeding of dogs for their meat by 2027. 

Why has the Bill been passed now? 

  • Consuming dog meat in South Korea is a centuries-old practice. Historically, cows were highly valued and so prized that people had to obtain a government permit to slaughter them up until the late 19th Century. Therefore, dog meat became the best source of protein and was enjoyed by people across the class spectrum. 
  • In recent years, however, the practice has been increasingly shunned as incomes, pet ownership and concern for animal welfare spiked steadily. 
  • About 93% of South Korean adults said they didn’t want to consume dog meat in the future, and 82% said they supported a ban, according to a survey conducted last year by Aware, an animal welfare organization in Seoul. 

What does the Bill say? 

  • The Bill intends to prevent the cruel slaughter of dogs without actually banning their consumption. According to activists, dogs are electrocuted or hanged when slaughtered for meat. Breeders and traders, however, have argued that slaughtering has become more humane in recent years. 
  • Its provisions will be implemented in 2027, following a three-year grace period for dog farm owners, meat restaurants, and other workers in the trade to close their businesses or find alternative sources of employment. 
  • Under the Bill, slaughtering dogs for consumption can attract fines of up to 30 million won (approximately Rs 19 lakh) or imprisonment of up to three years. 
  • Selling and breeding dogs for consumption can also attract a 2-year prison sentence or a fine of 20 million won (Rs 12.58 lakh). 

About South Korea 

  • Capital – Seoul 
  • Currency – South Korean Won 
  • Prime Minister – Han Duck-soo 
  • President – Yoon Seok-youl 

11. SBI Launches Green Rupee Term Deposit 

  • State Bank of India (SBI) has launched the SBI Green Rupee Term Deposit (SGRTD) of 1,111 days, 1,777 days, and 2,222 days tenor for resident individuals, non-individuals, and NRI customers.
  • The deposit has been introduced with the aim of mobilizing funds to support environment-friendly initiatives and projects, thereby fostering the growth of a green finance ecosystem in India. 
  • Currently, the scheme is available through the branch network, and it will soon be made available through other digital channels such as YONO and Internet Banking Services (INB). 

What is Green Deposit? 

  • Green deposit refers to an interest-bearing deposit received by regulated entities (RE) for a fixed period, with the proceeds earmarked for allocation towards green finance as per RBI’s notification dated April 11, 2023. 

Recent Facilities Launched in Banking & Insurance Sector 

  • Indian Bank launches ‘Indian Bank One Co-Branded Credit Card’ 
  • IndusInd Bank lunched ‘Samman RuPay Credit Card’ exclusively for government employees. 
  • Canara Bank to launch Data Analytics center in Bengaluru from 1 April 
  • Bank of India introduced Super Special Fixed Deposit with interest rate of 7.50% per annum 

12. Denmark’s King Frederik X Takes The Throne After Abdication Of Queen 

  • Denmark’s King Frederik X took the throne after the abdication of his mother Queen Margrethe II. 
  • For many in Denmark, his mother Margrethe was the only monarch they had ever known. But her shock abdication, after more than five decades on the throne, paved the way for her son, the former Crown Prince Frederik, to succeed her. 
  • The Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen then publicly proclaimed the King’s accession from the balcony of the palace – a tradition in place since the constitution of 1849.
  • Frederik followed the proclamation with a short speech, before being joined by his Australian-born wife Queen Mary and their four children, including the Crown Prince Christian, the new successor to the throne. 
  • Denmark is a constitutional monarchy, and its royals perform an important but symbolic ambassadorial role in addition to signing off any new legislation. 
  • Formal powers lie with the elected parliament and its government based at Christiansborg Palace in the heart of the capital, Copenhagen. 
  • It’s the first time in 900 years a Danish king or queen has abdicated. It will be a more festive occasion than the last time when a young Margrethe took over. 

About Denmark 

  • Capital- Copenhagen 
  • Currency- Danish krone
  • Prime Minister – Mette Frederiksen 
  • Newly Appointed Prime Minister & President 
  • Prime Minister of France – Gabriel Attal (replace Elisabeth Borne) 
  • Prime Minister of Bangladesh – Sheikh Hasina (5th term) 
  • President of Congo – Felix Tshisekedi (2nd term) 
  • President of Egypt – Abdel Fattah El-Sisi (3rd term) 
  • Prime Minister of Poland – Donald Tusk 

13.Taiwan Elects Pro-Sovereignty William Lai In Historic Election, Further Straining China Ties 

  • Taiwanese voters have chosen William Lai Ching-te, a pro-sovereignty candidate from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), as their president, marking a significant departure from China. 
  • Lai, the current vice president, secured an unprecedented third consecutive term for the DPP by defeating his conservative rival, Hou Yu-ih of the Kuomintang (KMT), by over 900,000 votes. 
  • With Lai’s win, the DPP secures an unprecedented third consecutive term, reflecting majority support for the party’s commitment to preserving democracy, even as Beijing dismisses it as non-representative of mainstream Taiwanese opinion. 

14.Maharashtra’s Pench Tiger Reserve Achieves Milestone As India’s First Dark Sky Park 

  • Pench Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra has made history by securing recognition as India’s inaugural Dark Sky Park, marking its position as the fifth in Asia. 
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature, recognizing the intrinsic value of the night sky as a natural, cultural, and historical resource, played a pivotal role in conferring this distinction. 
  • Prabhu Nath Shukla, the deputy director of the reserve, highlighted the significance of preserving natural darkness for nature conservation, maintaining ecological integrity, and contributing to the well-being of communities in urban centers. 

15.Union Minister Ajay Bhatt Flags Off Astra Missile For IAF Delivery 

  • Union Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhatt, marked a historic moment on January 14, by flagging off the indigenously developed Astra air-to-air missiles. 
  • The ceremony took place at the Kanchangbagh unit of Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) in Hyderabad, signifying a crucial step towards the missile’s induction into the Indian Air Force (IAF). 
  • The Astra missile, a beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile, stands as a testament to India’s technological prowess. Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by BDL for the IAF, the Astra Weapon System boasts unparalleled capabilities in its category, with a remarkable range exceeding 100 kilometers. 

16.Indian Army Day 2024 

  • Indian Army Day is a special day celebrated on January 15 every year. In 2024, it will be celebrated on Monday, January 15. 
  • This day marks the anniversary of the Indian Army getting its first Indian chief in 1949. This chief was General K.M. Cariappa, who took over from the British. 
  • The theme for Indian Army Day in 2024 is “In Service of the Nation.” This means that the Indian Army is always ready to serve and protect our country. Their motto is “Service Before Self,” showing that they always think of the country first. 

17.Pongal 2024 

  • The Pongal festival, also known as Bhogi Pongal, is a vibrant and auspicious harvesting festival widely celebrated in India. 
  • This four-day festival holds immense significance in the southern state of Tamil Nadu and marks the beginning of Uttarayan, symbolizing the end of winter and the onset of the harvest season. 
  • Pongal falls every year in January, during the Tai month of the Tamil Solar calendar, and this year, it begins on January 15, lasts until January 18. 
  • The festival is dedicated to the Sun God, Lord Surya, and is celebrated in various names across India – Magh Bihu in Assam, Lohri in Punjab, and Makar Sankranti in the Northern parts of the country. 

18.Makar Sankranti 2024 

  • In 2024, Makar Sankranti, a Hindu festival marking the Sun’s entry into Capricorn, occurs on January 15. Celebrated based on solar cycles, this festival is distinctive in Hindu traditions, symbolizing the end of winter and the beginning of longer days, coinciding with the month of Magha. 
  • Makar Sankranti, a festival celebrated nationwide, holds special significance in Hinduism. According to Vedic astrology, when the sun enters the zodiac sign of Capricorn, marking the transit of Suryadev into his son Shani’s sign, Makar Sankranti is celebrated. This festival is associated with rituals like Ganga snan (bathing in the Ganges) and charitable acts. 

19.Defense Minister Sanctions Insurance Scheme For BRO Workers 

  • India’s Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, has recently approved a groundbreaking scheme aimed at providing insurance cover to casual workers employed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO). 
  • The scheme is expected to offer financial security and welfare to the families of casual paid labourers who play a crucial role in building infrastructure in the country’s farthest frontiers. 
  • The approved scheme is set to provide a significant INR 10 lakh ($13,500) to the families of casual paid labourers in the unfortunate event of their death. 

20.PM Modi Releases First Instalment Of PM-JANMAN Scheme For Pucca Homes 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to release ₹540 crore, the inaugural tranche of funding, for pucca homes under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) on January 15. 
  • This disbursement, part of the recently launched PM-JANMAN package, aims to foster the comprehensive development of PVTG habitations. 
  • The release of ₹540 crore serves as the initial financial boost for Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) families, emphasizing the commitment to providing durable housing under the PMAY-G. 
  • Simultaneously, officials across 100 districts will distribute benefits under the PM-JANMAN package to Gram Panchayats and village chiefs, ensuring a widespread and efficient implementation. 

21.A Book Named “Gandhi A Life In Three Campaigns” Launched By M.J. Akbar 

  • Renowned author M.J. Akbar, along with co-author K. Natwar Singh, launched a new book titled “Gandhi: A Life in Three Campaigns.” 
  • The book delves into the life and struggles of Mahatma Gandhi, particularly focusing on three pivotal mass campaigns he led: 
  • 1)Non-Cooperation Movement (1920): Highlighting Gandhi’s ability to mobilize the masses against British rule. 
  • 2) Salt Satyagraha (1930): Turning a pinch of salt into a symbol of resistance against colonial exploitation and 
  • 3) Quit India Movement (1942): A decisive call for the end of British colonialism in India. These campaigns are portrayed as crucial moments that challenged and eventually led to the dismantling of the British Empire in India. 

22.Shaun Marsh Announces Retirement From Professional Cricket

  • Australia’s Shaun Marsh, a renowned name in international and domestic cricket, has announced his retirement from all forms of the sport. 
  • Shaun Marsh started his career in Western Australia and gained recognition for his skill and dedication. Marsh’s international career with the Australian cricket team was marked by notable performances in Test matches, One Day Internationals (ODIs), and Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). 
  • He played 38 Test matches, 73 ODIs, and 15 T20Is for Australia. In ODIs, he particularly excelled with a batting average of 40.78 and an 81.42 strike rate. His Test career also boasts a noteworthy average of 43.32 in 68 innings. Marsh’s contributions in T20s, though less prominent, still included 15 games for Australia with a top score of 47. 

23.Rohit Sharma Becomes The First Men’s Player To Play 150 T20Is 

  • In a historic moment for Indian cricket, Rohit Sharma, the captain of Team India, etched his name in the record books by becoming the first men’s player to feature in 150 T20 International matches. 
  • This milestone was achieved during the second T20I against Afghanistan at the Holkar Cricket Stadium, marking a remarkable feat in Rohit’s illustrious career. 
  • During the first T20I against Afghanistan, Rohit Sharma not only captained his side to victory but also secured another milestone by becoming the first player to win 100 T20Is. This accomplishment underlines his leadership prowess and the team’s success under his captaincy. 

24.Madhya Pradesh Clinches Overall Championship In Inaugural Diu Beach Games 2024 

  • In a spectacular display of talent, Madhya Pradesh emerged as the undisputed overall champion at the first-ever Beach Games 2024 hosted in Diu. The landlocked state secured an impressive total of 18 medals, including 7 golds, showcasing the depth of its athletic prowess. 
  • The competition, unfolding from January 4-11 at the pristine Ghoghla Beach, featured 1404 young athletes from 28 states and Union Territories engaging in various disciplines. 
  • Maharashtra secured 14 medals with 3 golds, while Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, and hosts Dadra, Nagar Haveli, Diu & Daman each bagged 12 medals. 
  • Notably, Assam excelled with 8 medals, including an impressive 5 golds. In a historic moment, Lakshadweep clinched gold in Beach Soccer, diversifying the medal tally and emphasizing the inclusive nature of the Diu Beach Games. 

25.Classical Singer Prabha Atre Passes Away At 91 

  • The Indian classical music fraternity mourns the loss of Dr. Prabha Atre, a revered classical vocalist and a luminary of the Kirana Gharana, who passed away in Pune at the age of 91. 
  • Born on September 13, 1932, Prabha Atre was not just a classical vocalist but also an academician, researcher, composer, and author. 
  • Dr. Atre’s contributions were recognized through several prestigious awards. She was a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1991), Padma Shri (1990), Padma Bhushan (2002), and the Padma Vibhushan (2022), India’s second-highest civilian honor. 

26.FCI (Food Corporation Of India) Marks Its 60th Anniversary 

  • FCI marks its 60th anniversary, with Union Minister Piyush Goyal praising India’s food self-sufficiency as a remarkable achievement in human history. .
  • The FCI, a statutory organization responsible for managing the government’s granaries, has been instrumental in achieving food self-sufficiency. 
  • Through its procurement process at federally fixed minimum support prices (MSP), it buys millions of tonnes of farm produce from Indian farmers, preventing distress sales. This food is then distributed free of cost to 800 million impoverished citizens under the National Food Security Act.

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