Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 18th January 2024

1. Modi unveils three projects P worth ₹4,000 crore in Kochi 

  • Three infrastructure projects totalling 4,000 crore in Kochia new dry dock and an international ship repair facility (ISRF) of Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) and an LPG import terminal of Indian Oil Corporation Limited at Puthuvy peen-are in line with the vision to transform India's ports, shipping, and inland waterways by boosting capacity building and selfsufficiency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Wednesday after inaugurating them.. He said the Centre had been ushering in reforms to bring about ease of business in these areas, while the Sagarmala project would help improve connectivity between ports. 
  • The new projects, including the country's largest dry dock, would catalyze the development of Kerala and southern parts 
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated projects in the presence of Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan in Kochi on Wednesday, H.VIBHU of the country. The new dry dock would enable big vessels to dock here for repairs, reducing dependence on foreign countries and thus saving foreign exchange. The ISRF would transform Kochi into South Asia's largest ship-repair center. 
  • A new ecosystem of MSMEs was envisaged, with the inauguration of such big shipbuilding and repair facilities. The new LPG import terminal would meet the LPG needs of Kochi, Kozhikode, Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Madurai, and Trichy. 
  • Mr. Modi said the situation when ships had to wait for long at ports to unload had changed, so much so that India had surpassed many developed nations when it came to their turnaround time. 
  • In his address, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said 'Made in Kerala' was becoming a key component of the 'Make in India' initiative. 

2. Trade unions announce strike on February 16 

  • A day after the Samyukta Kisan Morcha announced a rural strike on February 16, the Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions (CTUS) announced an industrial strike on the same day. 
  • Announcing the decision at a joint press conference here on Wednesday, the leaders of the SKM and the CTUS said roads and rails will be blocked and processions and picketing will be held before the Central Government offices against the policies of the Narendra Modi government. The leaders said 22 political parties have pledged support to their demand charter. "This government is continuously carrying on barbarous onslaughts on the lives and livelihood of the toiling people as a whole and aggressively pursuing anti worker, anti-farmer and anti-people measures through various legislations, executive orders and policy drives," they said. 

3. CERT-IN takes over 11 months to plug C vulnerabilities exposing personal data 

  • A critical vulnerability that exposed the personal details of top industrialists, celebrities, sports personalities and others in the country has been fixed by the Corporate Affairs Ministry months after a cybersecurity expert flagged the issue. 
  • Sai Krishna Kothapalli, founder and CEO of Hack- rew Infosec, who came across the vulnerability by chance and flagged it to the Computer Emergency Response Team, India (CERT- IN) on January 16, 2023, confirmed that the problem appeared to have been resolved after II months on December 20. However, suspecting theft or abuse of the sensitive data, he has called for an investigation. 
  • It was during Pongal holidays last year that Mr. Sai Krishna, while working on a security tool called "Eagle Eye", stumbled upon personal details in documents such as Aadhaar, PAN, voter identity card and passport and date of birth, contact number and communication address of such persons. This vulnerability exposed the personal details of nearly 98 lakh directors of Indian companies. "This is a story on how personal data of prominent personalities such as Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani, Shah Rukh Khan, Virat Kohli and many other influential people was freely available online due to a vulnerability in a government portal," Mr. Sai Krishna told The Hindu on Tuesday. 
  • An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Mr. Sai Krishna said he was preparing a proof of concept for "Eagle Eye", which was capable of detecting secrets and sensitive information from websites, when he visited the website of the Ministry. "The next day, I noticed something interesting while going through the logs. I didn't realize the 'Eagle Eye' tool I was prototyping was running in the background while browsing the MCA website, That night, it picked something up There was some PII (Personal Identifiable Information] like email and phone numbers that were in the HTTP response but not there in the rendered HTML. This means that the browser received some data that is not shown anywhere on the screen," he said. 
  • This was a generic type of vulnerability usually present in Web and mobile applications. i was shocked. In front of my eyes, I had all the personal details of very important persons which were available for any individual or agency in India or abroad to access and even abuse. Such information is a jackpot for scammers. In a recent incident, scammers duped banks to the tune of ₹50 lakh just by using PAN numbers of some VIPs," he said. But what came as a rude shock to Mr. Sai Krish na was that despite passing on the alert to CERT-IN, the vulnerability remained for a few months. It took 11 months and four days for the critical issue that leaked personally identifiable information of approximately 98 lakh Indians, including many high net-worth individuals, to get resolved. 
  • When the issue was first flagged to CERT-IN on Jae- ary 16, 2023, the security researcher received a reply by email stating that the complaint was registered and appropriate action would be taken. 
  • With no reply after that and the vulnerability persisting, Mr. Sai Krishna wrote to the Director-Gen- eral, CERT-IN on July 31, 2023 to which he received a mail three days later saying the vulnerability had been communicated to the authorities concerned for an early resolution. On September 8, 2023, CERT IN informed him that the issue had been resolved. But when he checked, the vulnerability persisted. 
  • "There are a lot of companies openly selling the contact information le mail and phone numbers) of directors online. I don't know if this vulnerability has been exploited. I have requested for a thorough investigation," he said. 

4. Over half of youth struggling with basic math: ASER study 

  • The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), led by "Beyond Basics", was released here on Wednesday. It involved a survey by the civil society organization Pratham among rural students aged 14 to 18. 
  • The household survey, conducted in 28 districts across 26 States, assessed the foundational reading and arithmetic abilities of 34.745 students. It discussed the activities students are engaged in, their basic and applied reading and math abilities and digital awareness and skills, 
  • Overall, $6.8% of 14-to 18-year-olds are enrolled in an educational institution. There are small gender gaps in enrolment, but notable differences are visible by age. The percentage of youth not enrolled is 3.9% for 14-year-old youth and is 32.6% for 18 year olds," the report said. 
  • Most of the people in this age group were enrolled in the Arts Humanities stream. In Class II or higher, more than all are enrolled in the Arts/Hr manatees stream ($5.7%) and girls are less likely to be enrolled in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics stream (28.1%) than days 36.38 it said. 
  • Rasic abilities On abilities such as he reading, mas d abilities application of basic skills to everyday cake latinos reading and understanding instructions, and financial calculations that do be done in real life about 25% still cannot read a Class 2 level text fluently their regional language "More than half sagle with division digt lyr problems Only 43.3% of 14-18 year olds are able to do such problems correctly. This ski usually expected in Star dard MAN" the report said. 
  • Over half can read sentences in English (57,3%). "Of those who read sentences in English almost three quarters car tell their meaning (73.5%), the report adds Close to 90% of all you have a smartphone in the household and know how to use it. 

5. Regional turmoil West Asia needs a security equilibrium 

  • Hamas Israel has carried out targeted strikes in Lebanon and Syria, killing Hezbollah, Hamas and Iranian commanders. From southern Lebanon, Hezbollah is exchanging fire with Israeli troops. Iran-backed militias in Syria and Iraq have attacked the US. forces in Syria and Iraq. The Houthis, the Iran-backed rebels of Yemen, have turned the Red Sea into a battlefield. The US's airstrikes in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, seek to retaliate against Shia militias. As chaos and instability spread, Sunni Islamist militants attacked Iran, killing at least 100 people. In the latest escalation, Iran claims to have destroyed an Israeli intelligence outpost in Iraq's Kurdistan and training camps of Sunni Islamists in Syria and Pakistan, in air strikes. This is now a classic case of regional anarchy where countries are taking unilateral military measures to address their perceived security challenges, throwing international laws and the idea of sovereignty, the bedrock of the international system, to the wind, thereby risking a wider all-out war. Just weeks before the October 7 attack, Jake 
  • Sullivan, the U.S. National Security Adviser, had said "the Middle East is quieter today than it has been in two decades". The Abraham Accords were on a strong footing, and Saudi Arabia and Is- rael were moving closer towards normalization. Iraq had become quieter; Gulf Arabs and Iran had reached a rapprochement; and a ceasefire was holding in Yemen. Most of these changes, however, ignored the oldest crisis in the region, Israel's continuing occupation of the Palestinian territories. The October 7 Hamas attack and Israel's subsequent vengeful offensive in Gaza have not only brought Palestine back to the center of West Asia but also lit fires, triggering perhaps the deepest security crisis in the region since 1967. The involvement of non-state actors and the absence of an off ramp complicate matters. After 100 days of war with Hamas, Israel has achieved little in Gaza. The Houthis, a militia that survived seven years of Saudi bombing, are unlikely to be deterred by America's strikes. Even though Iran wants to showcase strength and boldness, it cannot mask its inherent weakness, which also makes it unpredictable. The old order, anchored by America's domineering regional presence, is in tatters. What West Asia needs is a new security equilibrium. There has to be an immediate cease- fire in Gaza, and peace between Israel and Palestinians could be used as a springboard for further talks aimed at regional security between the main stakeholders - Israel, Arab nations, Iran, the U.S. and their respective allies and proxies. 

6. Disproportionate act: CPR on cancellation of its FCRA license 

  • The Centre for Policy Research (CPR) diverted foreign donations to fund "protests and legal battles against developmental projects" and misutilised foreign contributions to "affect India's economic interests", a source in the government said on Wednesday. As reported first by The Hindu on Wednesday, the Union Home Ministry on January 10 canceled its FCRA registration, making the organization ineligible to receive foreign donations. 
  • The government accused the think tank of violating the foreign fund norms as it engaged in the production of current affairs programmes. The government said publishing current affairs programmes using foreign funds is prohibited under Section 3 of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). The said section prohibits acceptance of foreign funds by political parties, public servants, judges, journalists, and the publisher of a registered newspaper or a company engaged in the production or broadcast of audio news or audiovisual news or current affairs programmes through any electronic mode. 
  • The CPR said in a statement that the Ministry's decision was incomprehensible and disproportionate, "This includes the publication on our website of policy reports emanating from our research being equated with current affairs programming," the CPR said, 
  • The source said that the CPR's FCRA registration certificate was canceled for several violations of the FCRA, 2010. "Funds found to be used for litigation matters include cases against coal mines/plants," the source added. 
  • The Congress said it was sad as well as amusing that a think tank of scholars should scare the Narendra Modi government. "The Narendra Modi government feared CPR for its uprightness and has resorted to a vindictive act," All India Professionals Congress chairman Praveen Chakravarty; 

7. Fertilizer subsidies likely to come down, says Mandaviya 

  • Union Fertilizer Minister Manuskh Mandaviya said here on Wednesday that consistent steps taken by the Narendra Modi government were leading to self reliance in fertilizers production and a decrease in fertilizer subsidies. 
  • He was speaking to press persons about his new book Fertilizing the Future: Bharat's March Towards Fertiliser Self-Sufficiency. The Minister said E, the country had adequate stocks of fertilizers for the ongoing rabi and upcoming kharif seasons. 
  • Asked about the subsidy, he said it was likely to come down and was estimated at around 1.7-1.8 
  • "We have not increased retail prices to reduce sub- sidy," he said. 
  • On the attacks against commercial vessels in the Red Sea, he said it would not create any shortage of fertilizers in India. "Ministry of External Affairs is making necessary inter- ventions and our Navy is giving protection to Indian cargo vessels," he said. 

8. Rainfall rising in over half of India's sub-districts, says four-decade study 

  • Rainfall is increasing in more than half of India's 4,400 odd tehsils or sub-districts, says a granular analysis of changes in the Indian monsoon, conducted for the first time at the tehsil level. While 55% of tehsils have seen a rise in rainfall, about 11% have experienced a fall. 
  • Worryingly, the decrease occurred largely during the critical south west monsoon. In fact, of the tehsils experiencing lower rainfall, about 68% saw reduced rainfall in all the monsoon months from June to September, while 87% showed a decline during the initial monsoon months of June and July, which are crucial for the which are hand crop Using these harsals are in the Indo-Gangetic plains which contribute to more than half of India's agricul rural production as well as in northeastern India and the Indian Himalayan region. 
  • The study-authored by Shravan Prabhu and Vish was Chitale of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), а research and policy think tank-analyses high-resolution meteorological data spanning four decades, from 1982 to 2022, which has been recorded by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). 
  • In our study of local Bed wet rainfall extremes, we found that nearly 64% of Indian tehsils rienced an increase in the frequency of heavy rainfall days by one to is days a year in the past decade during the southwest monsoon. This pattern is prominent in the tehsils of States with the highest GDP'S Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Karna taka. Further, we found that tehsils experiencing an increase in rainfall during the southwest monsoon. short duration, heavy rain tall events the authors note Erratic rain patterns' Rainfall from the northeast monsoon, which sees in during October, November and December, primarily in peninsular India, has increased by more than 20% over the past decade (2012 2022) in approximately 80% of tehsils in Tamil Na exped, 44% in Telangana, and 39% in Andhra Pradesh, respectively. 
  • The south west monsoon comics for noamts 78% of India's moal rain tk coming together the who cast monsoon 

9. India got fourth place in Global Firepower Power Ranking-2024 

  • The Global Firepower Power Rankings-2024 military force rankings offer a comprehensive assessment of military forces around the world. More than 60 countries have been taken into account in this list of 145 countries. 
  • Apart from this, in an important change, South Korea has become the fifth most powerful country in the world in terms of military strength, surpassing Britain. 
  • With a defense budget of $831 billion, America spends the most money on its military. It is followed by China ($227 billion), Russia ($107 billion) and India ($74 million). Among the top five defense spenders, the US's total expenditure share is 63.3%. 
  • The index takes into account approximately 60 factors, including the number of troops, military equipment, financial stability, geographical location and available resources. The report not only presents current rankings but also examines how each country's military forces have changed from one year to the next. 


  • 1 United States 0.0699 
  • 2 Russia 0.0702 
  • 3 China 0.0706 
  • 4 India 0.1023 
  • 5 South Korea 0.1416 

Bottom Country 

  • 145 Bhutan 
  • 144 Moldova 
  • 143 Suriname 
  • 142 Somalia 
  • 141 benin 

10. Lionel Messi and Etana Bonamati won the FIFA Best Player of the Year 2023 awards in the men's and women's categories respectively 

  • The Best FIFA Football Awards 2023 recognized the most extraordinary talents in football. 
  • Lionel Messi of Argentina and Inter Miami and Aitana Bonamati of Barcelona and the Spanish national team have emerged as the best male and female players respectively. 
  • Players, coaches and teams were honored for their achievements in the 2023 season at a ceremony held in London. Argentine superstar Lionel Messi defeated Norwegian striker Erling Haaland in a close contest to win the FIFA Men's Player of the Year award for the third time in the last four years. 

Main winner 

  • Male Coach of the Year: Pep Guardiola, Manchester City Women's Coach of the Year: Sarina Wigman, England, fourth time Male Goalkeeper of the Year: Ederson, Manchester City and Brazil 
  • Women's Goalkeeper of the Year - Mary Earps, Manchester United and England FIFA Puskás Award: Guilherme Madruga FIFA Special and Fair Play Awards – Brazil national team FIFA Fan Award – Hugo Daniel "Toto" Iñiguez of Argentina 

11. LIC becomes the most valuable government company by defeating SBI 

  • Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has also overtaken the market capitalization of State Bank of India (SBI). LIC's share price rose over 2%, taking its market capitalization to a 52-week high of ₹919.45 per share and crossed ₹5.8 lakh crore. Whereas SBI has about Rs 5.65 lakh crore. 
  • Last month, the Finance Ministry had exempted PSU insurers from adhering to 25% minimum public shareholding (MPS) norms till 2032. The stock has been on a rise since then as the discount reduces the possibility of an offer for sale (OFS) by the government. 
  • In May 2022, the government had sold 3.5% stake in LIC IPO which was altogether worth around Rs 21,000 crore (offer for sale). This remains India's largest IPO so far. 
  • After the listing, LIC faced downward pressure till March 2023, and it hit an all-time low of ₹530. However, there was a notable change from November, which saw an increase of more than 50%. 
  • December saw an impressive rise of 22.66%, and the positive momentum continues with gains of over 10% through 2024. 
  • In the first half of FY24, LIC reported a net profit of ₹17,469 crore, an increase from ₹16,635 crore in the same period last year. LIC's new business premium (individuals) grew 2.65% to ₹25,184 crore in H1FY24. 

12. India got second place in Edelman Trust Barometer 2024 

  • The 24th annual survey of the Edelman Trust Barometer 2024, released ahead of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, which included more than 32,000 respondents from 28 countries, showed that developing countries lag behind developed countries in terms of the overall trust perception of their respective populations. Are ahead of. 
  • In the overall index prepared on the basis of average percentage trust in NGOs, business, government and media, India moved from fourth to second place in 2023, while China retained its top position. 
  • While India is at the top in terms of trust in businesses and NGOs, it is at fourth place in terms of trust in media and fifth in terms of government. Britain replaces South Korea as the least trusted country. 
  • Distrust in the government was found in 17 of the 28 countries surveyed, including the US, Germany and Britain. The media was the least trusted institution globally and was found to be distrusted in 15 out of 28 countries, including the US, Japan and the UK. 

Global Ranking and Trust Categories 

  • Government Trust: Saudi Arabia has claimed the top position, while India has secured the 5th position. 
  • Media Trust: China has taken the lead and pushed India to fourth position. 
  • Employer confidence: Indonesia has taken the top spot, while India is at second position. 

13. Wings India-2024 exhibition will start at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad. 

  • The Wings India-2024 exhibition will commence on 18 January 2024 at Begumpet Airport, Hyderabad, Telangana. Which is Asia's largest event in civil aviation. This time the theme of Wings India is – India's connection with the world during Amritkaal. 
  • Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia will formally inaugurate the event. Before its launch, a show of strength will be conducted in the Begumpet area and over Hussainsagar lake by the Sarang helicopter team led by senior Group Captain SK Mishra of the Indian Air Force (IAF). It is being organized by the Airports Authority of India in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and FICCI. 
  • The fourday Wings India Show will showcase advancements in new generation aircraft, related aviation services, supporting industries and tourism sector. The event will provide an opportunity to bring together aviation industry stakeholders and participants from across the globe to showcase innovations, enhance collaboration and explore new business opportunities. 
  • About 1500 delegates from more than 100 countries, about 5 thousand representatives of the business world and more than 1 lakh spectators are expected to participate in this event. The show will showcase the latest Boeing aircraft 777-9 and Air Bus A-350 for the first time. 

14. Gujarat is the best performing state under ‘National Startup Award’- 2022 

  • Union Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal presented the Startup Awards and State Ranking Awards for the year 2022 at the National Startup Day celebration on 16 January 2024. The Minister called for greater collaboration and guidance through the MAARG portal – Mentorship, Advice, Assistance, Resilience and Growth of Startup India. 
  • Shri Goyal announced that the 'Startup Mahakumbh' is scheduled to be held in March 2024. This edition of the ranking exercise has seen the highest ever participation of 33 states and union territories. 
  • For the purpose of assessment, states and union territories were divided into two categories, category A included states and union territories with a population of more than 1 crore, and category B included states and union territories with a population of less than 1 crore. 

Category A States (Population more than 1 crore) Year 2022 

  • Best Performer – Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu
  • Top Performers – Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana 
  • Leader – Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand
  • Ambitious leaders- Bihar, Haryana, 
  • Emerging Ecosystems – Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Category B states (population less than 1 crore) 
  • Best Performer – Himachal Pradesh 
  • Top Performer – Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya 
  • Leader – Goa, Manipur, Tripura 
  • Ambitious Leader - Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Nagaland 
  • Emerging Ecosystems – Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Ladakh, Mizoram, Puducherry, Sikkim. 

National Startup Awards 2023- Total 21 Awards

  • 1. Axial Aero Private Limited – Telangana 
  • 2. Country Clay (OPC) Private Limited – North-East Delhi 
  • 3 BlackFrog Technologies Pvt Ltd – Karnataka 

15. Sumit Nagal became the second Indian player to defeat the top seeded player in the Australian Open tennis tournament. 

  • India's Sumit Nagal entered the second round of the Australian Open tennis tournament for the first time by defeating Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik. Sumit, ranked 137th in the world, defeated 27th seeded player Bublik in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 in the first round of the tournament in a match that lasted 2 hours 38 minutes. 
  • The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam of the year. This is the first win by an Indian men's singles player over a seeded player in a Grand Slam after 34 years. 
  • This is the second time that Nagal has reached the second round of a Grand Slam, having previously done so at the 2020 US Open. 
  • Haryana's Nagal is the only men's singles player to represent the country in a Grand Slam tournament. 
  • Earlier, Ramesh Krishnan was the last Indian to defeat a seeded player in the main draw of a Grand Slam when he defeated then world No. 1 Mats Wilander at the 1989 Australian Open. 
  • The Jhajjar man started 2023 ranked outside 500 and is not eligible to enter the qualifiers even though he is a Challenger. Two Challenger wins and a final each increased his ranking. 
  • Ahead of the Asian Games 2023, Nagal surprised many while discussing his tour preparations by saying that 'he has only 900 Euros (Rs 80,000) left in his account.'. 

16.Boeing opens its first distribution center in India 

  • Global aerospace giant Boeing has opened its first distribution center in India, located in Khurja, Uttar Pradesh. 
  • Spanning 36,000 square feet, this parts warehouse aims to assist regional aviation customers in optimizing fleet utilization. 
  • This new facility is part of its ongoing efforts to expand its footprint in the country, providing an efficient, cost-effective, and localized solution. 
  • This is one of Being’s eight distribution centers in the world. 
  • Furthermore, Boeing has pledged a USD 100 million investment in infrastructure and pilot training programs to meet India’s growing demand for pilots over the next two decades. 

About Uttar Pradesh 

  • Capital – Lucknow 
  • Chief Minister – Yogi Adityanath 
  • Governor – Anandiben Patel 

17.L&T wins Rs 10,000 crore electrification order for high-speed rail project 

  • Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has secured a mega contract from an authorized Japanese agency to construct an electrification system for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed rail project in India. 
  • Valued in the range of Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 15,000 crore, the project, according to company executives, is the largest single rail-electrification order in India. 
  • This would be the first of its kind railway project in India involving the implementation of Japanese Shinkansen High-Speed Electrification Technology. 
  • This electrification system will enable trains to travel at speeds of up to 320 kmph. 

18.Haldia Petrochemicals becomes India’s first BSI Certified ISO 27001:2022 Petrochemical firm 

  • Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL), a leading petrochemicals company in India, has become the first ISO 27001:2022 certified petrochemical organization in the industry by BSI (British Standards Institution), a renowned certification body. 
  • This milestone showcases HPL’s commitment to maintaining a robust and secure information security governance structure throughout its digital transformation journey. 
  • The Certification demonstrates HPL’s commitment towards a secure and reliable digital environment for a seamless exchange of information across internal and external stakeholders. 
  • By achieving this certification, HPL has demonstrated its ability to protect sensitive information and ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of valuable data and systems. ISO 27001:2022 is the standard of ISMS (Information Security Management System) program to protect the information assets of the organization. 

About BSI 

  • British Standards Institution (BSI) is the world’s first Standards Body and founding member of ISO from the United Kingdom. 
  • BSI produces technical standards on various products, services, and supplies certification and standards-related services to businesses. 
  • They are among the most respected and reputable management systems certification bodies globally and are accredited by around 20 local and international bodies. 

19.Vineet McCarty appointed as Commandant in Indian Naval Academy 

  • Vice Admiral Vineet McCarty took over as Commandant of the Indian Naval Academy. 
  • The Flag Officer was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 01 Jul 1989 and is a graduate of Defence Service Staff College, Wellington (2005) and National Defence College, New Delhi (2017). 
  • A specialist in ‘Gunnery and Missiles’, he served as the commissioning crew of INS Delhi and did all his specialist tenures onboard the frontline Guided Missile Destroyer. 
  • Before assuming charge as the Commandant of Indian Naval Academy, he was Flag Officer Commanding the Western Fleet. 

Recent Appointment in Defence Sector 

  • DG (Acquisition) of Defence Ministry – Samir Kumar Sinha 
  • Vice Chief of the Naval Staff – Dinesh K. Tripathi 
  • Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command (WNC) – Sanjay Jasjit Singh (replace Dinesh K Tripathi) 
  • DG of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) – Nina Singh (first woman Director) 
  • DG of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) – Rahul Rasgotra (replace Anish Dayal Singh) 

20.Yogesh Singh wins gold medal in men’s 25m centre fire pistol

  • Yogesh Singh won the gold medal in the men’s 25m centre fire pistol competition in Jakarta, Indonesia. 
  • Yogesh claimed the individual gold medal after shooting 573, finishing ahead of silver winner Muad Al Balushi of Oman (570) and Indonesia’s Anang Yulianto (567). 
  • The other two Indian participants in the event, Pankaj Yadav (567) and Akshay Jain (564), ended fourth and sixth. 
  • In the women’s event, the Indian trio of Shreyasi, Manisha Keer and Bhavya Tripathi, however, won the silver medal in the women’s trap team event with a total of 328, finishing behind China and ahead of Kazakhstan. 

21.18 January 2024 – Women’s Healthy Weight Day

  • Women’s Healthy Weight Day is observed every year on the Thursday of the third week of January. This year it’s being celebrated on January 18. 
  • The day aims at spreading awareness around the concept of healthy weight and steps to achieve the ideal weight. 
  • Maintaining a healthy weight is important for both men and women and it not only helps you feel better and more energetic but can also reduce risk of falling ill due to chronic diseases like cardiovascular illness, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, thyroid issues to name a few. 
  • A balanced meal should be consumed to maintain a healthy weight whether you are on a higher or lower side of the ideal weight. 
  • Shedding extra pounds doesn’t require a strenuous workout routine, but a regular effort to maintain the required weight for overall well-being. 

22.PM Modi Unveils Ram Mandir Stamps: A Historic Moment In Indian Culture 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently launched a series of commemorative postage stamps dedicated to Ayodhya’s Ram Temple, marking a significant cultural event in India. 
  • The collection comprises six distinct stamps, each featuring key figures and symbols associated with Lord Ram’s narrative, including the Ram Temple, Lord Ganesh, Lord Hanuman, Jatayu, Kevatraj, and Ma Shabri. 
  • The designs incorporate essential elements related to Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir, showcasing the temple, the revered Choupai ‘Mangal Bhavan Amangal Hari,’ the sun, the Saryu River, and the sculptures in and around the temple. Each stamp is adorned with gold leaf detailing for the sun rays and the Choupai, adding a majestic touch. 

23.NHAI’s ‘One Vehicle, One FASTag’ Initiative To Streamline Toll Collection 

  •  The National Highways Authority of India has introduced the ‘One Vehicle, One FASTag’ initiative, to curb the prevalent practice of using a single FASTag for multiple vehicles or linking multiple FASTags to a specific vehicle. 
  • This initiative seeks to promote a one-to-one correspondence between vehicles and FASTags, ensuring transparency and accountability in toll collection. 
  • NHAI is actively promoting the completion of the ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) process for the latest FASTag. FASTags with valid balances but incomplete KYC details will face deactivation or blacklisting by banks after January 31, 2024. 

24.Ayodhya’s Lata Mangeshkar Chowk Illuminates Ahead Of Ram Temple Inauguration 

  • The city of Ayodhya is witnessing a significant transformation with the upcoming inauguration of the Ram temple. A key highlight in this transformation is the Lata Mangeshkar Chowk, which has recently been illuminated, drawing attention both nationally and internationally. 
  • The Chowk, named after the legendary Indian playback singer Lata Mangeshkar, has become a popular selfie hotspot for locals and tourists alike. 
  • This bronze sculpture, weighing 14 tonnes and made by renowned sculptor Ram Sutar, stands as a symbol of Lata Mangeshkar’s musical legacy.

25.Union Minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia Inaugurates Asia’s Largest Aviation Expo Wings India 2024 

  • Union Minister for Civil Aviation Shri Jyotiraditya M Scindia inaugurated Wings India 2024, Asia’s largest aviation expo, at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad. 
  • The theme of Wings India 2024 is “Connecting India to the World in Amrit Kaal: Setting the Stage for India Civil Aviation @2047”. 
  • The aim is to support a USD 20 trillion economy by 2047 with a robust aviation system. The expo served as a platform for industry leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders to exchange ideas and forge partnerships. 

26.DLabs At ISB Launches `Build For Billions’ Jointly With RBI Innovation Hub, UBI 

  • DLabs at the Indian School of Business (ISB) has announced the initiation of ‘Build for Billions’, a startup accelerator program centered around financial inclusion for the informal economy..
  • This innovative program has been launched in partnership with the Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH) and Union Bank of India. 
  • The primary theme of ‘Build for Billions’ is to foster financial inclusion within the informal economy. It aims to address livelihood issues for gig workers, migrant workers, domestic workers, street vendors, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and construction laborers who represent the informal economy. 

27.EPFO Removes Aadhaar As Valid Date Of Birth Proof 

  • The Employees’ Provident Fund Organization has recently issued a circular stating the removal of Aadhaar from the list of acceptable documents for proof of date of birth (DoB) for correction and updation purposes. 
  • This decision, effective from January 16, 2024, follows a directive from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and aligns with the Aadhaar Act, 2016, which does not recognize Aadhaar as proof of date of birth. 
  • The UIDAI emphasizes that Aadhaar is primarily an identity verification tool and not a proof of birth. This is supported by a memorandum from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and a judgment by the Bombay High Court. 

28.KVIC Launches ‘Khadi Sanatan Vastra’ From Its Flagship Store In CP, New Delhi 

  • The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has recently unveiled a new clothing range called ‘Sanatan Khadi Vastra’ at its flagship store in Connaught Place, New Delhi. 
  • This launch aligns with the broader vision of promoting Khadi as a symbol of national pride and sustainable fashion. 
  • The design for the ‘Sanatan Vastra’ was prepared at the Khadi Center of Excellence (COEK) located at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). 
  • The manufacturing of Khadi does not involve any mechanical or chemical processes, making Sanatan textiles unique as they are prepared as per traditional Indian methods. 

29.TCS Ranked Second Most Valuable IT Brand In Global List 

  • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has achieved a significant milestone by being rated the second most valuable IT services brand in the world, according to the 2024 Global 500 IT Services Ranking by Brand Finance. 
  • This achievement underscores TCS’s commitment to innovation, sustainability, and global expansion, positioning it as a leader in the technology industry. 
  • TCS’s brand value saw an impressive surge to $19.2 billion in 2024, up from $17.2 billion in 2023. This 11.5% year-over-year growth is the highest absolute value growth among the top 25 leading IT firms globally. 

30.REC Limited Wins ICAI Award For Excellence In Financial Reporting FY 2022-23 

  • REC Limited, a prominent Maharatna Public Sector Unit and a leading Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) has been honored with the prestigious ‘Plaque’ at the ICAI Awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting. 
  • REC Ltd under the Ministry of Power has been recognised in the ‘Financial Services Sector (Other than Banking and Insurance)’ category for the financial year 2022-23. 
  • The ICAI Awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting, organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India’s Research Committee since 1958, aim to recognize and promote excellence in the preparation and presentation of financial and non-financial information in annual reports across diverse sectors. 

31.Sue Redfern: ICC’s First Female Neutral Umpire In Bilateral Series 

  • In a groundbreaking development for women’s cricket, Sue Redfern from England is set to become the first ICC-appointed female neutral umpire to officiate in a bilateral series. 
  • Redfern’s appointment is a result of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) decision to have one neutral umpire for all ICC Women’s Championship series and T20I matches associated with them. 
  • This move is aimed at ensuring a degree of neutrality in match officiating while also contributing to the long-term development of female umpires in the sport. Seven female neutral umpires, including Sue Redfern, will officiate across ICC Women’s Championship series. 

32.ISRO Unveils Advanced Distress Alert Transmitter For Fishermen 

  • Indian Space Research Organisation’s development, the second-generation ‘Distress Alert Transmitter’ (DAT-SG), is a remarkable advancement in satellite communication and navigation capabilities. 
  • Operational since 2010, the DAT-SG has become a crucial tool for fishermen at sea, allowing them to send emergency messages and receive real-time acknowledgments. 
  • The DAT-SG incorporates advanced satellite communication and navigation features, leveraging the latest technological developments. 
  • Through a communication satellite, fishermen can send distress signals from their boats, initiating a real-time connection with a central control station – the Indian Mission Control Centre (INMCC). This upgraded version of DAT ensures a more robust and efficient communication process. 

33.Disease X: Unveiling The Unknown Health Threat At WEF 2024 

  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) 2024 kicked off on January 15 in Davos, Switzerland, where global leaders are slated to address a peculiar concern known as Disease X. 
  • This enigmatic term refers to an illness triggered by an unidentified yet potent microbial threat. A panel of the World Health Organization (WHO) is set to collaborate with other health officials to deliberate on this mysterious health menace. 
  • Disease X, designated by the WHO in 2017, holds a place alongside pathogens like Ebola and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) as a top priority for research. Essentially, it represents an illness arising from an unknown but serious microbial threat, with COVID-19 serving as a tangible example. 

34.China’s Betavolt Unveils Groundbreaking Nuclear Battery: 50 Years Of Maintenance-Free Power Generation 

  • China’s Betavolt, a cutting-edge startup, has introduced a groundbreaking nuclear battery that claims to provide uninterrupted electricity for 50 years without the need for charging or maintenance. 
  • The battery, measuring 15 x 15 x 5 millimeters, presently produces 100 microwatts of power at 3 volts, with plans to achieve 1 watt output by 2025. 
  • The battery integrates 63 isotopes into a coin-sized module, showcasing unprecedented technological advancement. Operating on the decay of isotopes, the battery efficiently transforms the generated energy into electrical power. 

35.India Records Its First-Ever Confirmed Sighting Of A Rare Tibetan Brown Bear 

  • In a remarkable development for India’s wildlife conservation, the first-ever confirmed sighting of the rare Tibetan Brown Bear (scientific name: Ursus arctos pruinosus) was recorded in the high altitudes of North Sikkim. 
  • This discovery, made by the joint efforts of the Sikkim Forest Department and WWF-India, marks a significant addition to the country’s mammal diversity and highlights the ecological richness of the region. 
  • The Tibetan Brown Bear, also known as the Tibetan Blue Bear, is an omnivore with a diet generally consisting of marmots and alpine vegetation. It is distinct from the more commonly found Himalayan Black Bear in terms of appearance, habitat, and behavior.

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