Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 25th January 2024

National News 

1.Court tells ASI to make Gyanvapi report public 

  • The Varanasi district court on Wednesday ordered that the report of a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) be made public to allow all petitioners, both Hindus and Muslims, access to the document. 
  • District Judge A.K. Vishvesha delivered the order while hearing a bunch of petitions filed by the Hindu petitioners seeking access to the report. 
  • The detailed order is awaited in which the court will direct the conditions for the parties to get the report. The ASI, in its application in the court on January 3, had urged the judge to delay the release of the report by four weeks. 
  • The agency has made this request to get breathing time to file the report in the 1991 suit pertaining to the Kashi Vishwanath Gyanvapi Mosque dispute currently pending in the Allahabad High Court. 
  • The Central agency added that if the report is unsealed and disclosed in public before its submission in the High Court, there are more chances for rumors and misrepresentation that could affect its work. 
  • The ASI conducted the survey based on the orders of the Varanasi district court delivered on July 21. The court had asked it to determine if the mosque was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple. 
  • The Supreme Court, in August 2023, on a petition of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee (which manages the Gyanvapi Mosque), asked the ASI not to conduct any survey in the Wazu Khana area of the mosque. 
  • Starting its ground survey in the last week of July, the ASI took five months to complete the exercise and submitted the report in court on December 12 Wednesday, Justice 
  • Manish Kumar Nigars of the Allahabad High Court recused himself from hearing a plea challenging the Varanasi district court's refusal to direct the AST to conduct a scientific survey of the Wazoo Khana area inside the mosque complex. 
  • The matter will now be placed before the Chief Justice who will nominate another judge to hear the matter. 
  • The next hearing is on January 31. 

2.IIM Kashipur to host Uttishtha 2024 

  • IIM Kashipur will host the 7th edition of Uttishtha 2024, an ‘Agri Mela’ Startup Expo scheduled for Jan 27-28. 
  • The two-day summit, organized by the Foundation for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development (FIED) and e-Cell IIM Kashipur, and supported by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, aims to provide a platform for agri-startups, industry stakeholders, and investors to share insights on entrepreneurship. 
  • The event anticipates participation from over 2,000 business-school students, over 20 vice-chancellors and entrepreneur talks, and more than 100 startups. 

3.14th All India Police Commando Competition organized in Visakhapatnam 

  • The 14th All India Police Commando competition organized at the A.P. Police Greyhounds Training Facility, 
  • Around 16 states have sent their elite commando forces for the competition including forces such as the Special Operations Group (SOG) from Odisha and Chhattisgarh, C- 60 from Maharashtra, the paramilitary forces such as BSF, CRPF, Assam Rifles, ITBP, RPF, SSB and CISF, among others. 
  • Each team will comprise 13-15 commandos and the competition will be held in five phases in a week, wherein the participants’ skill, endurance and teamwork will be tested. 
  • The commandos will be judged by an expert team from the Intelligence Bureau (IB). 
  • The State team comprises personnel from the Greyhounds and Octopus. 

4.DGCA slaps Rs 1.10 crore penalty on Air India for safety violations 

  • Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has imposed a penalty of Rs 1.10 crore on Air India for safety violations amid a series of incidents of flight irregularities. 
  • According to the receipt of a voluntary safety report from an airline employee alleging safety violations of flights operated by Air India on certain long-range terrain critical routes. 
  • Recently, IndiGo was fined Rs 1.20 crore as the passengers of one of its flights came out on the tarmac and started eating food. 

5.World’s First ‘Black Tiger Safari’: Odisha’s CM Naveen Patnaik Announces 

  • In a groundbreaking move, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has unveiled plans for the establishment of the world’s first ‘black tiger safari’ near the Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) in Mayurbhanj. 
  • This visionary project aims to provide tourists and visitors with a rare glimpse of the melanistic tigers, commonly known as black tigers, recently spotted at the Similipal National Park. 
  • The proposed safari site, near Baripada and spanning 200 hectares, will be strategically located adjacent to National Highway 18. Out of this area, 100 hectares will be dedicated to the display zone, while the remaining space will be utilized for essential infrastructure, including veterinary care facilities, a rescue center, staff amenities, and visitor services. 

6.Cabinet Approval For India-Oman IT Cooperation MoU 

  • The Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given the green light for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Oman in the field of Information Technology (IT). 
  • The MoU, inked on December 15, 2023, between the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of India and Oman’s Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology, aims to foster comprehensive collaboration through mutual support, technology sharing, information exchange, and investments in IT. 
  • The MoU is set to be effective from the date of signing and will remain in force for three years. The envisaged collaboration is anticipated to enhance cooperation, leading to increased employment opportunities in the IT field. 

7.President Droupadi Murmu Inaugurates Kaushal Bhawan: Paving The Path For Skill Empowerment 

  • In a historic moment, President Droupadi Murmu inaugurated Kaushal Bhawan, symbolizing India’s unwavering commitment to empowering its youth through skill development. 
  • Under the aegis of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), the Bhawan is set to catalyze the realization of aspirations and nurture the nation’s young talent, steering India toward a more skilled future. 
  • Kaushal Bhawan, equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure, provides an ideal environment for ideation, collaboration, and execution of groundbreaking skill development initiatives. 
  • The building’s design incorporates environmental responsibility by preserving two towering trees, exemplifying a model for sustainable development. 

8.Kerala government launches 'Operation Amrit' to stop overuse of antibiotics 

  • The Drug Control Department of Kerala has started Operation AMRITH to stop the overuse of antibiotics. 
  • Under this initiative, pharmacies will have to maintain accurate antibiotic sales records and display a poster stating 'Antibiotics will not be sold without a doctor's prescription'. 
  • The public can also report noncompliance with this measure to the Drug Control Department. 
  • In 2018, Kerala became the first Indian state to launch the KARSAP State Action Plan on AMR, in line with India's National Action Plan. 

The Government of Kerala has implemented various similar initiatives: 

  • Antibiotic Literate Kerala Campaign 
  • Establishment of block-level AMR committees in all 191 blocks 
  • Kerala Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (KARS-NET) 
  • AMR laboratory inaugurated by Kerala State Pollution Control Board 
  • Program on Removal of Unused Antibiotics (PROUD) for proper disposal of unused antibiotics. 

9.Top U.S. officials to come to India to discuss bilateral ties and Quad dates 

  • Top U.S. diplomats will travel to Delhi this week to discuss bilateral issues, energy cooperation and possible dates for the Quad Summit with U.S.-Australia-Japan-India leaders shore up ties amidst speculation of a 'pause' in the past few months. 
  • U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu will travel to Delhi for the meetings, and to attend the U.S.-India Forum organized by think tank Ananta Centre. Amongst other officials expected to attend the closed-door seminar, which will be off-limits to the public and the media, are Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Geoffrey Pyatt, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, Pentagon officials, officials from the White House National Security Council dealing with India and with climate issues, and U.S. Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan are expected to address the forum slated from January 27 to 29 on the Indian side. 
  • Mr. Lu is also expected to discuss the Quad agenda for the upcoming year, where India is the Chair of the grouping. New Delhi had earlier proposed to hold the summit this weekend, on January 27, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited the U.S. President Joseph Biden as chief guest for Republic Day. However, after the U.S. declined the invitation last month, French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to step in. 
  • The U.S. decision to turn down the Republic Day invite, and the allegations in the Pannun matter had led to speculation over trouble in the India-U.S. relationship. 
  • In addition, possible dates for the Quad summit are unclear as both the U.S. and India enter their election seasons, with the possible window in February fast closing. The U.S. officials in Delhi, who are expected to be followed by other senior White House and National Security Council officials in February for the MEA and ORF- organized Raisina Dialogue from February 21 to 23, will seek to keep up the momentum in ties from 2023, when Mr. Modi traveled to the U.S. for a state visit and concluded a number of agreements. 
  • Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department announced a visit by Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Geoffrey R. Pyatt from January 26 to 31 to Delhi and Hyderabad to address the Forum and to speak about India and the U.S.'s "shared agenda around energy transition, reliable supply chains, and energy security." 
  • Mr. Pyatt had visited India in 2022 and 2023 to discuss similar issues, as well as to speak about the need to abide by the G-7-EU and Australia "price caps" on Russian oil, and sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine war. 

10.French President to attend 'shobha yatra' in Jaipur today 

  • A 'shobha yatra', or public procession, in Jaipur is expected to be the highpoint of French President 2manuel Macron's visit to the pink city. 
  • Upon arriving in Jaipur on Thursday afternoon, he will visit the Amber Fort and the Jantar Mantar both iconic tourist destinations of Rajasthan-before proceeding for the 'shobha yatra' with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 
  • The two leaders will then meet in the evening at Taj Rambagh Palace. Mr. Macron will be accompanied by a ministerial delegation comprising Stéphane Sejourné (Europe and Foreign Affairs), Sébastien Lecornu (Armed Forc es), and Rachida Dati (Culture). 
  • Jaipur has been chosen by the Indian hosts as the first stopover for the French President, who will be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. In terms of symbolism, the 'shobha yatra' is an innovation in hospitality during the annual celebrations. The French s usually like to showcase regions of India with which they have old connections. 
  • In 2016, during the visit of former President Francois Hollande, Chandigarh was chosen as a venue outside Delhi, where Mr. Modi and Mr. Hollande had met, because of its Le Corbusier connection. 
  • In Jaipur, however, the visiting French President is unlikely to deliver a speech during the 'shobha yatra'. He is also scheduled to visit Hawa Mahal, a landmark structure in the old city. 
  • Jaipur late on Thursday and arrived in Delhi for the Republic Day parade at the Rajpath on Friday. He will also attend the "At Home" reception by President Droupadi Murmu. He is scheduled to hold a meeting with Ms. Murmu late in the evening before going back. Mr. Macron had come to India on a state visit in March 2018 and on an official visit in September 2023 for the G-20 summit. '

11.Center releases three-drug regimen for treating leprosy 

  • The Union government has approved a new treatment regimen for leprosy, aiming at stopping its transmission at the subnational level by 2027. A letter written by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said the National Leprosy Eradication Programme is taking all the required steps to stop the transmission of the infection. 
  • "Now with the approval of the competent authority, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has decided to introduce a three- drug regimen for Pauci-Bacillary (PB) cases in place of a two-drug regimen for six months," the letter written by Sudarshan Mandal, Deputy Director-General, DGHS, said. 
  • The January 17 letter said that the move follows the "latest, globally accepted scientific research studies and evidence-based practices". 
  • It further added that the World Health Organization (WHO) had agreed to supply the revised drug regimen from April 1, 2025. 
  • Thus, all States and Union Territories have now been asked to send their requisitions for anti-leprosy drugs 12 months beforehand. The revised classification of leprosy and the treatment regimen for PB and multibacillary (MB) cases in India will be implemented from the same date. 
  • The WHO says leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. The bacteria are transmitted via droplets from the nose and mouth during close and frequent contact with untreated cases. Leprosy, reported from all the six WHO regions, is curable with multi-drug therapy (MDT). The majority of new cases detected are from Southeast Asia. 
  • The letter also states that PB patients have fewer visible bacteria and show no signs of advanced disease in biopsies, while MB patients have visible bacteria and may show signs of more advanced disease in biopsies. "We believe that this new treatment regimen for leprosy patients will mark a significant step forward in our collective efforts to eradicate leprosy in India by 2027," it said. The WHO's recommended treatment regimen consists of three drugs dapsone, rifampicin and clofazimine. The combination is referred to as MDT. The duration of treatment is six months for PB and 12 months for MB cases. MDT kills the pathogen and Infection. 
  • The WHO has been providing MDT free of cost. Free MDT was initially funded by the Nippon Foundation and since 2000, it has been donated through an agreement with Novartis. This regimen is known as 'Uniform MDT', where a single three-pack kit can be given to all leprosy patients. 
  • This measure facilitates ease of administration. Healthcare experts say it makes it easier for the manufacturers, too. 
  • Asked about the need for the three-drug regimen, Kabir Sardana, Professor, Dermatology, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, explained that it was true there was no specific need as such for three drugs since the two-drug regimen had adequate efficacy. Moreover, as relapses are low in PB MDT, three drugs are not strictly needed. The third drug - clofa- zamine also causes its own side effects, the most disconcerting of which is the red color of the skin, Dr. Sardana said. 

International News 

12.Trump wins New Hampshire primary 

  • Former President Donald Trump cruised to victory in New Hampshire's Republican presidential contest on Tuesday, marching closer to a November rematch with U.S. President Joe Biden even as his sole remaining rival for the nomination, Nikki Haley, vowed to soldier on. "This race is far from over," Ms. Haley said at a post-election party. 

13.Saudi Arabia To Open First Alcohol Store For Diplomats 

  • In a groundbreaking move, Saudi Arabia is preparing to open its first alcohol store, exclusively for diplomats. This significant development represents a notable shift in the Kingdom’s approach to alcohol, which has traditionally been banned under its strict interpretation of Islamic law. 
  • Historically, Saudi Arabia has enforced a strict prohibition on the sale and consumption of alcohol. This policy aligns with the conservative religious principles that govern many aspects of life in the Kingdom. 
  • This initiative is seen as a step towards accommodating the lifestyles of foreign diplomats living in the Kingdom, making it a more hospitable environment for international relations. 

Defence News 

14.Indian Navy To Establish Second VLF Communication Station In Telangana 

  • The Indian Navy has strategically chosen Telangana as the location for its second Very Low Frequency (VLF) communication transmission station in the country. 
  • VLF communication is crucial for the Navy to maintain effective communication with ships and submarines, emphasizing the strategic role of the new transmission station. 
  • The selected site for the VLF center is the Damagudem forest area near Puduru in the Vikarabad mandal. This location was chosen after the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam identified Telangana as a suitable area for the establishment of a second radar station. 

15.Air forces of India, France and UAE conducted 'Desert Night Exercise' 

  • The Indian Air Force has conducted Exercise Desert Night over the Arabian Sea in collaboration with the French Air and Space Force and the UAE Air Force. The Defense Ministry has said that the Air Force fleet included Su-30 MKI, MiG-29, Jaguar, AWACS, C-130-J and air refueling aircraft. 
  • ‘Desert Night Exercise’ is conducted between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the French Air and Space Force, this time UAE also participated. 
  • Rafale fighter planes and multirole tanker transport aircraft from the French Air Force and F-16 aircraft from the United Arab Emirates participated in the exercise. The Defense Ministry has said that during this exercise, the focus was on promoting coordination and the ability to work together among the three air forces. 
  • During this exercise, the Air Forces exchanged information, experiences and best practices related to the activities. The ministry has also said that such exercises indicate the growing prowess of the Indian Air Force in this region as well as increased diplomatic and military interaction. 
  • Earlier this month, India and UAE counterparts conducted a joint military exercise 'Desert Cyclone' in Rajasthan to enhance interoperability by learning and sharing best practices in operations. 

16.U.S., Britain launch second round of military strikes 

  • The United States and Britain launched a second round of joint military strikes on Yemen's Houthis on Tuesday over their attacks on Red Sea shipping, as the Iran-backed rebels vowed to hit back. 
  • The latest raids, heard by residents of the rebel held capital Sanaa around midnight, hit eight Houthi targets, a joint U.S.-U.K. statement said, while the Houthis listed 18 strikes across their territory. 
  • A senior U.S. military official said the strikes were carried out using a combination of precision-guided munitions from U.S. and British aircraft, and Tomahawk cruise missiles. 
  • U.S. and British forces carried out a first wave of strikes against the rebel group earlier this month, and the United States launched further air raids against missiles that Washington said posed imminent threats to both civilian and military vessels. 
  • But the Houthis have continued their attacks on shipping just one part of a growing crisis in West Asia linked to the Israel-Hamas war, which has raised fears of a broader war directly involving Iran. 
  • The Houthis remained defiant, with military spokesperson Yahya Saree promising a response. 
  • "These attacks will not go unanswered and unpunished," he wrote on X, listing 18 strikes in Sanaa, Hodeida, Taez and Al-Bayda provinces. 

Schemes and Committee News 

17.Vice-President inaugurated ‘Hamara Samvidhan, Hamara Samman’ campaign 

  • The Vice-President, Jagdeep Dhankhar has inaugurated a year-long pan-India campaign ‘Hamara Samvidhan, Hamara Samman’ to commemorate the 75th Year of India as Republic at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre. 
  • The campaign aims to reaffirm our collective commitment to the principles enshrined in the Constitution of India and celebrate the shared values that bind our nation. 
  • This nationwide initiative envisages to instill a sense of pride and responsibility to uphold the ideals outlined in the constitutional framework. 
  • Another activity named Nav Bharat Nav Sankalp aims to encourage the masses to embrace the resolutions of Panch Pran by reading the Panch Pran Pledge. 
  • The third activity Vidhi Jagriti Abhiyan aims to involve the students to carry the message Panch Pran in the villages adopted by the Law colleges, under the Pro Bono Club scheme. 

Appointment News 

18.Sankey Prasad appointed as CMD for Project Leaders Middle East 

  • Global diversified professional services and investment management company has appointed Sankey Prasad as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) for India and Middle East Engineering and project management business, which is under the name of Colliers Project Leaders Middle East. 
  • Under Prasad’s leadership in India, Colliers has diversified into new markets, developed cutting-edge technologies, expanded its range of services, delivered more than 130 million square feet of real estate development spanning India, West Asia, Africa, and South Asia, and achieved 30 percent y-o-y growth in four years. 

Recent Appointment 

  • CEO of Jindal Stainless Ltd – Tarun Khulbe 
  • CEO of PepsiCo India – Jagrut Kotecha (replace Ahmed El Sheikh) 
  • As a member of the UPSC – Sheel Vardhan Singh 
  • MD of Bangalore Metro – Maheshwar Rao 
  • MD of Experian India – Manish Jain 

Economy News 

19.18,500-crore aid for coal gasification 

  • The government on Wednesday said it has approved an outlay of ₹8,500 crore as financial aid for promotion of coal/lignite gasification projects. The decision was taken during a Cabinet meeting under the chairmanship of PM Narendra Modi. 

Important Day News 

20.25 January – National Voters Day 

  • The National Voters’ Day is celebrated every year in India on January 25 to encourage the country’s voters to participate in the electoral process. 
  • This year, it is the 14th edition which is being celebrated. Theme 2024 – Nothing Like Voting, I Vote For sure 
  • The first-ever National Voters’ Day was celebrated on January 25, 2011, to encourage more young voters to take part in the electoral process where the Union government, then led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had approved a proposal of the law ministry to this effect. 

21.24 January – International Day of Education 

  • The International Day of Education is observed across the globe on January 24 to underscore education as a basic human right and a public responsibility. 
  • International Day of Education is envisioned to promote gender equality, inclusivity, and poverty eradication through quality education and democratic participation. Theme 2024 – Learning for lasting peace 
  • On December 3, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution that proclaimed January 24 as the International Day of Education. 
  • The UNGA aimed to highlight and celebrate the role of learning for development. 
  • The adoption of the resolution 73/25 “International Day of Education” was co-authored by Nigeria and 58 other member states to promote inclusive, equitable, and quality education for all. 

22.National Tourism Day 2024 

  • National Tourism Day, celebrated annually in India, is a significant event that highlights the importance of tourism for the country’s economy and cultural heritage. 
  • National Tourism Day is observed on January 25th each year. This day is earmarked to foster awareness among the international community about the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political, and economic values. 
  • The theme for this year is ‘Sustainable Journeys, Timeless Memories.’ It emphasises the concept of responsible and mindful travel. As a part of this day, seminars, cultural events, and other programmes are organised by the central government. 

Award News 

23.UP selected Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar 2024 

  • For the year 2024, 60 Parachute Field Hospital, Uttar Pradesh, in the Institutional category, has been selected for the Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar-2024 for its excellent work in Disaster Management. 
  • The Government of India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has instituted an annual award known as Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar to recognize and honour the invaluable contribution and selfless service rendered by individuals and organizations in India in the field of disaster management. 
  • The award is announced every year on the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 51 lakh and a certificate in case of an institution and Rs. 5 lakh and a certificate in case of an individual. About 60 Parachute Field Hospital 
  • 60 Parachute Field Hospital, Uttar Pradesh, was established in 1942. It is the sole airborne medical establishment of the Indian Armed Forces, recognized for its exceptional service in various global crisis. 
  • The primary mission includes Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations during natural calamities, nationally and internationally, both in time of peace and war. 
  • It had provided medical assistance during the Uttarakhand floods (2013), Nepal Earthquake under the operation name ‘Maitri’ (2015), and Indonesian Tsunami as part of Operation Samudra Maitri (2018). 

Books and Authors News 

24.Conversations with Aurangzeb” written by Charu Nivedita 

  • Tamil writer Charu Nivedita’s “Conversations with Aurangzeb”, translated by Nandini Krishnan, is an unpredictable book. 
  • In it, a writer begins a novel with an idea but soon meets the spirit of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who decides to seize the opportunity to tell his side of the story. 
  • The writer and Aurangzeb speak of the past and present, of Mughals and Marxism, of satire and Sunny Leone, and a host of other contemporary subjects. Krishnan says the novel is “defiant of all genres”. 

Recent Books 

  • Conversations with Aurangzeb – Charu Nivedita (translated by Nandini Krishnan) 
  • Assam’s Braveheart Lachit Barphukan – Arup Kumar Dutta (launched by Amit Shah) 
  • Fertilising the Future – Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya (launched by VP Jagdeep Dhankhar) 
  • The Babri Masjid Ram Mandir Dilemma: An Acid Test for India’s Constitution – Madhav Godbole 
  • Why Bharat Matters – S Jaishankar 
  • Breaking the Mould – Raghuram Rajan & Rohit Lamba Science and technology News 

25.CoRover.Ai Introduces BharatGPT, India’s First Large Language Model 

  •, a leading player in the Conversational AI space, has recently introduced BharatGPT, India’s first Large Language Model (LLM). 
  • This groundbreaking development aims to revolutionize AI conversations across 22 Indian languages, addressing the language diversity challenges prevalent in the country. 
  • Positioned as an Indigenous Generative AI platform, BharatGPT integrates seamlessly with both voice and text modalities, offering a unique solution to the complexities of linguistic diversity. 
  • One of the notable achievements of BharatGPT is its extensive language integration. The model proudly supports voice modality in over 12 Indian languages and text modality in a whopping 22 languages. 

26.NASA, Lockheed Martin unveil 'X-59' quiet supersonic aircraft 

  • NASA and Lockheed Martin have formally unveiled the agency's 'X59' quiet supersonic aircraft. The X59 is the centerpiece of NASA's Quest mission, which seeks to solve one of the primary challenges of supersonic flight over land by silencing sound waves. 
  • Using this unique experimental airplane, NASA aims to gather data that could revolutionize air travel, paving the way for a new generation of commercial aircraft that can travel faster than the speed of sound. 
  • The X-59 is at the center of NASA's Quest mission, which is focused on providing data to help regulators reconsider rules that restrict commercial supersonic flight over land. 
  • The X-59 is expected to fly at 1.4 times the speed of sound, or 925 mph. The aircraft's size of 99.7 feet long and 29.5 feet wide and the technological advances it contains will make quiet supersonic flight possible. 
  • The aircraft is set to fly for the first time later this year, marking its first quiet supersonic flight. The Quest team will conduct a number of flight tests at Skunk Works before transferring the aircraft to NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, which will serve as its base of operations. 

Ranks and Reports News 

27.Direct Tax-To-GDP Ratio Hits 23-Year High In FY23: CBDT Report 

  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) released data, revealing that the direct tax-to-GDP ratio for the fiscal year 2022-23 (FY23) reached a remarkable 23-year high, standing at 6.11%. 
  • Direct tax collections witnessed a robust year-on-year growth of 17.8%, totaling Rs 16.6 trillion in FY23. Notably, corporate tax collections reached Rs 8.26 trillion, marking a 16% increase, while income tax collections stood at Rs 8.33 trillion, reflecting a significant 19.6% YoY growth. 
  • The total number of income tax returns filed in FY23 rose to 77.82 million, compared to 73.05 million in FY22, indicating an upward trend in tax compliance

Agreement News 

31.MoD Signs Rs 1,070 Cr Deal With Mazagon Dock For 14 FPVs 

  • In a recent development, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract with Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL), Mumbai, for the acquisiof 14 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). 
  • Over the last two decades, the Indian Navy has assumed the role of a “net security provider” in the Indian Ocean, aiming to maintain a “free and open Indo-Pacific” and counterbalance China’s expanding naval presence. 
  • The recent contract with MDL, valued at Rs 1,070 crore, focuses on indigenously designed, developed, and manufactured FPVs under the ‘Buy (Indian-IDDM)’ acquisition category. 
  • The vessels are expected to be delivered within 63 months, equipped with advanced features, multipurpose drones, wirelessly controlled remote water rescue craft, lifebuoy, and artificial intelligence capabilities. 

32.India and Japan sign world's first biggest agreement for supply of green ammonia 

  • ACME Group, a leading renewable energy company in India, and Japanese integrated heavy industries group IHI Corporation signed an offtake term sheet to supply green ammonia from Odisha, India to Japan. 
  • Speaking about the agreement, Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy Shri R.K. Singh said this is one of the world's first and largest agreements in the field of green hydrogen and green ammonia. 
  • The term sheet between IHI and Acme includes supply of 0.4 MMTPA (million metric tonnes per annum) green ammonia from Phase-1 of Odisha project at Gopalpur on a long-term basis. 
  • India's cost of producing green hydrogen and green ammonia is already among the most competitive in the world. We are going to emerge as one of the largest producers of green hydrogen and green ammonia in the world. 
  • Green Hydrogen and Ammonia Project at Gopalpur, Odisha is being developed by ACME with a planned capacity of 1.2 MMTPA which will be developed in phases; And first production is likely to take place within 2027. Over its life cycle, the project will help reduce global GHG emissions by 54 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. ACME 
  • ACME Group is one of the largest renewable independent power producers in India, with over 5 GW of renewable energy capacity under various stages of operation and implementation. 
  • In 2021, Acme built perhaps the world's first green ammonia plant in Bikaner, Rajasthan. India is developing several green hydrogen and ammonia projects in Oman and the United States with the aim of building a portfolio. 

Obituary News 

33.Norman Jewison, Director Of ‘In The Heat Of The Night’, Passes Away Aged 97 

  • orman Jewison, the acclaimed Canadian director best known for his work on the classic film ‘In the Heat of the Night’, has passed away at the age of 97. 
  • Jewison’s filmography includes a diverse range of genres, from comedies like ‘The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming’ to thought-provoking dramas such as ‘A Soldier’s Story’. 
  • However, it was ‘In the Heat of the Night’, a film that dealt with racism and prejudice in the American South, that cemented his status as a director of great substance and vision. The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and remains a significant work in the history of American cinema.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post