Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 10th February 2024

1. Jasprit Bumrah became the first bowler in cricket history to reach the top in all three formats of cricket. 

  • Jasprit Bumrah has performed brilliantly, taking 9 wickets for 91 runs during his team's 106-run win over England in the second Test at the Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. 
  • Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah has topped the Test bowling rankings for the first time in the latest ICC Men's Test Bowler Rankings confirmed by the ICC on 7 February 2024. 
  • With this, Bumrah has become the first bowler in cricket history to reach the top in all three formats of cricket. Earlier on July 17, 2022, Bumrah was ranked the number 1 bowler in ODIs by the ICC and he also secured the top position in the T20 format. 
  • Ashwin, who managed to take three wickets for India in the same match, dropped two places to third in the updated rankings for Test bowlers. 

Jasprit Bumrah 

  • According to ICC data, Bumrah is the fourth player and first fast bowler from India to top the bowling charts, while Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Bishan Bedi are the only players from the Asian country to have done so previously. 
  • Bumrah's latest 'six' is his third best performance in Test cricket and first in India. With this, Bumrah now has 155 Test wickets in his name. Earlier his best performances were 6/27 against West Indies in 2019 and 6/33 against Australia in 2018. 
  • He is also the second fastest Asian to reach 150th wicket, behind former Pakistan fast bowler Waqar Younis, who achieved the feat in 27 Test matches. Bumrah has reached this position in 34 Tests. 

2. Fiji's Deputy Prime Minister Biman Prasad became the first foreign leader to visit Ram temple in Ayodhya

  • Fiji's Deputy Prime Minister Biman Prasad has become the first foreign leader to visit the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Shri Prasad along with a six-member delegation reached Maharishi Valmiki Airport in Ayodhya on 8 February 2024 and had darshan of Shri Ram Lalla. 
  • He said that the temple of Shri Ramlala will further strengthen the relations between Fiji and India. He said that Fiji's administration, justice and policy-making are also inspired by the life of Lord Rama. He also said that there is a holiday in Fiji on the day of Diwali festival. 
  • The 'Pran Pratishtha' ceremony of the idol of child Ram in the temple was done in a program organized on 22 January 2024. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief host. Prasad noted that Fijians of Indian origin have a special attraction for Ayodhya as they mostly come from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. 

Key facts 

  • In 1529 AD, Babri Masjid was built by Mir Baqi in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The idol of Ram was 'revealed' inside the mosque in December 1949. In the year 1959, Nirmohi Akhara filed a suit for ownership rights. 
  • In the year 1961, Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board also filed a case. This board was claiming its control over the mosque. 
  • In the year 1989, senior advocate Devaki N. Aggarwal filed a suit in the Allahabad High Court on behalf of Lord Ram. On December 6, 1992, a mob demolished the Babri Masjid. 
  • On 9 November 2019, the final decision on the case was given by the Supreme Court in which the dispute was settled by handing over the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land for the construction of a temple dedicated to 'Ram Lalla' to one of the three claimants. 
  • On August 5, 2020, the Prime Minister of India laid the foundation stone of the Ram Temple while establishing the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust. 
  • The Ram temple is designed in the Nagara style of temple architecture. The story of Lord Rama is popular from Laos, Cambodia and Thailand in Asia to Guyana in South America and Mauritius in Africa 

3.Vividdhta Ka Amrit Mahotsav Inauguration At Rashtrapati Bhavan 

  • President Smt. Droupadi Murmu inaugurated the ‘Vividdhta ka Amrit Mahotsav’ at Rashtrapati Bhavan, showcasing Northeast India’s cultural richness. 
  • Organized by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region and Ministry of Culture, the event ran from February 8th to 11th, 2024. 
  • Over 320 stalls showcased unique handicrafts, handlooms, and agro products from eight Northeastern states. GI Pavilion featured 25+ textile, craft, and agricultural GI products, celebrating the region’s diversity. 

4.Tamil Nadu MSME Minister Unveils ‘Smart Cards’ To Aid Startups 

  • Tamil Nadu MSME Minister launched 2 pivotal initiatives: Smartcard scheme and StartUp Challenge website, underscoring government’s commitment to nurturing startups and fostering innovation in the state. 
  • At the core of this initiative lies the Smartcard scheme, designed to provide startups with essential support services at discounted rates. 
  • This scheme aims to bolster startups in accessing crucial resources necessary for their growth and operations, spanning human resources, legal advice, IT infrastructure, media, and publicity. 
  • The event also showcased the introduction of over 20 startups focused on diverse sectors such as artificial intelligence, media, and software technology through the Launch Pad event. 

5. Uttar Pradesh’s Green Hydrogen Initiative Targets 1 Million Tonne Capacity And 1.2 Lakh Jobs 

  • Uttar Pradesh aims to revolutionize its energy sector by constructing one million tonne per annum (mtpa) green hydrogen production capacity, generating an estimated 120,000 jobs. 
  • Investment proposals worth Rs 2.73 trillion have been secured from 20 companies during the UP Global Investors Summit in February 2023. 
  • The state is formulating a comprehensive policy offering incentives on capital outlay, land acquisition, and power transmission to attract investment in green hydrogen infrastructure. 

6. Telangana To Establish AI Hub, Make Internet A Basic Right 

  • Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan made groundbreaking announcements outlining the state government’s ambitious agenda for digital inclusion and technological advancement. 
  • With a focus on ensuring universal access to the internet and positioning Hyderabad and Telangana as the nation’s AI capital, Governor Soundararajan’s vision sets a bold precedent for the state’s future development. 
  • Governor Soundararajan’s commitment to making the internet a basic right for all citizens of Telangana underscores her dedication to bridging the digital divide and empowering every individual with the tools for success in the digital era. 

7. New Delhi Book Fair 2024: Feb 10-18, 2024 

  • The New Delhi Book Fair, organized by the National Book Trust in collaboration with the India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO), is set to enchant visitors at Pragati Maidan from February 10 to 18, 2024. 
  • This year’s theme, “Multilingual India: A Living Tradition,” promises a celebration of linguistic diversity and cultural exchange. 
  • Saudi Arabia takes center stage as the Guest of Honor, showcasing its rich literary heritage. With 25 delegates from the Kingdom participating, the fair becomes a platform for strengthening bilateral ties between India and Saudi Arabia. 

8. Sikkim Becomes First Northeast State To Reinstate Old Pension Scheme For Employees 

  • Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang of Sikkim announced the revival of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) for state government employees hired on or after April 1, 2006, during the State Level Temporary Employees’ Convention. 
  • Under the provisions of the Sikkim Services Pension Rules, 1990, employees appointed on or before March 31, 1990, are set to benefit from the reinstatement of the OPS. 
  • This revival marks a crucial step towards ensuring the financial security of state government employees, particularly in light of the upcoming state assembly elections. 

9. Embraer, Mahindra Partner On C-390 Millennium Medium Transport Aircraft In India 

  • Brazilian aerospace giant Embraer and Mahindra announced a strategic partnership aimed at fulfilling the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) acquisition of the C-390 multi-mission transport aircraft. 
  • With the IAF seeking to replace its aging fleets of AN32 planes, this collaboration aligns with India’s defense modernization efforts under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. 
  • The Indian Air Force’s requirement for 40 to 80 medium transport aircraft underscores the need for modernization and operational efficiency. 
  • Among the leading contenders for this procurement project are Embraer Defence and Security’s C-390 Millennium, highlighting the significance of advanced aerospace technology in meeting defense requirements. 

10.International Day Of Women And Girls In Science 2024 

  • Every year on February 11th, the world celebrates the International Day of Women and Girls in Science (IDWGIS). 
  • This day serves as a crucial reminder of the immense contributions women and girls have made, and continue to make, in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). 
  • This year’s theme, “Closing the Gender Gap in Science: Accelerating Action”, underscores the urgent need to address the barriers that hinder women and girls from pursuing and thriving in STEM careers. 

11.Neeraj Chopra Honoured At Jungfrau’s Ice Palace In Switzerland 

  • India’s Olympic gold medalist and world champion javelin thrower, Neeraj Chopra, was honoured with a commemorative plaque at the renowned Ice Palace. 
  • Carved into the heart of a glacier, the Ice Palace in Jungfraujoch serves as a unique and awe-inspiring monument. The plaque recognizes Chopra’s remarkable journey – from a small village in Haryana to becoming an Olympic champion and global sporting icon. 
  • His dedication, discipline, and relentless pursuit of excellence have not only brought him personal glory but also inspired millions worldwide. 

12 .IRS Officer Narendra Kumar Yadav Leads The “Fit India” Movement As Brand Ambassador 

  • Fit India Movement broke the mold by appointing Narendra Kumar Yadav, an IRS officer, as its new brand ambassador. Mr. Yadav has made history as one of the youngest Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers in 2009. 
  • This groundbreaking choice highlights the diverse paths to fitness and challenges us to rethink what it means to be a role model for a healthier India. 
  • He has excelled in his demanding civil service career while simultaneously fostering a deep-rooted passion for health and fitness. He actively champions holistic wellness practices, emphasizing nutrition, mindful living, and a balanced approach to fitness. 

13.NADA’s “Road To Paris 2024” Conference: Promoting Clean Sports And Anti-Doping Unity 

  • With the Paris Olympic Games approaching, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) hosted the “Road to Paris 2024: Championing Clean Sports and Uniting for Anti-Doping” Conference. 
  • The event aimed to educate Indian athletes about the dangers of prohibited substances while emphasizing ethical competition. 
  • NADA unveiled “The Paris Pinnacle: NADA’s Guide to Ethical Sporting,” a comprehensive resource providing guidelines for athletes preparing for the Paris Olympics 2024. The guide aims to empower athletes to compete ethically and uphold fair play principles. 

14. Etihad Airways Takes Flight As Official Sponsor Of CSK 

  • Etihad Airways joins forces with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as their official sponsor, marking a thrilling new chapter for both entities. 
  • This strategic partnership, announced on February 9th, 2024, promises to propel the excitement of cricket to new heights for fans around the world. 
  • Etihad Airways, a global airline renowned for its premium services and innovative approach, shares a similar commitment to excellence and a passion for connecting people across diverse cultures. 

15. Pathum Nissanka Smashes Sri Lankan Records With Historic Double Century 

  • Pathum Nissanka etched his name in Sri Lankan cricket history, by becoming the first-ever player to score a double century in One Day Internationals (ODIs) for the nation. 
  • His unbeaten knock of 210 runs against Afghanistan was a masterclass in batting, shattering records and propelling Sri Lanka to a massive victory. 
  • Nissanka’s 210 is the highest individual score by a Sri Lankan batsman in ODIs, surpassing Sanath Jayasuriya’s 189 from 2000. He reached the double ton in just 136 balls, making it the third fastest in men’s ODIs. 

16. Swaminathan, Rao, Charan Singh to get Bharat Ratna 

  • The Bharat Ratna will be conferred on former Prime Ministers P.V. Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh, as well as Green Revolution pioneer M.S. Swaminathan, adding to the two awards already announced earlier this year socialist leader Karpoori Thakur, and former Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani. 
  • A Rashtrapati Bhavan communique made the announcement on Friday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauding his late predecessors the Congress PM Rao's liberalization policies, and the Janata Party PM Singh's championing of the farmers' cause as well as the late agricultural scientist Swaminathan's services in the field. 
  • This year's tally of five Bharat Ratna awardees, one more than the four announced in 1999, is the highest that has ever been announced in a single year. Four of the five awards announced this year are posthumous. 
  • Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and party president Mallikarjun Kharge both welcomed the announcement. 
  • "On the behalf of Indian National Congress, we welcome the Bharat Ratna being conferred to Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao, Chaudhary Charan Singh and Dr. M.S. Swaminathan. From former Congress president, Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao has tremendously contributed to nation building," Mr. Kharge said, in a post on X. 

17. Misconception drives under-prescription of ORS 

  • Most healthcare providers in developing countries know that Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) are a life-saving and inexpensive treatment for diarrhea in children, but few prescribe it. Taking a closer look at this know-do gap, a new study has found that healthcare providers assume that patients do not want ORS, and this, in fact, played a major role in under-prescribing ORS. 
  • Diarrhea is a leading cause of death in children, and lives could be saved with a low-cost and widely available treatment ORS. 
  • However, presently, nearly half of diarrhoeal cases around the world do not receive ORS, according to researchers from institu- tions in the U.S. and India, including the Department of Economics, Sociology and Statistics, RAND Corporation (U.S.), Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University; Center for Public Policy, Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore, Karnataka; and Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California. 
  • The study published in Science used a randomized controlled trial to simultaneously study the role of three leading explanations for under-prescribing of ORS providers might think patients prefer non-ORS treatments such as antibiotics or dislike ORS because of poor taste and perceptions that ORS is not a real medicine; providers could be responding to financial incentives to sell more profitable alternatives (ORS is inexpensive and antibiotics generate nearly double the profit); and ORS stock-outs, the study authors said.
  • More than 2,000 providers across 253 medium sized towns in Karnataka and Bihar participated in the study. Standardized patients (actors trained to act as patients) made unan- nounced visits during which they presented a case of diarrhea for their two-year-old child. To estimate the effect of ORS stock-outs, the researchers randomly assigned all providers in half of the 253 towns to receive a six-week supply of ORS. 
  • They found that provider misperceptions that patients do not want ORS play the biggest role in the underprescribing of ORS. They estimated that provider misperceptions explained 42% of underprescribing, whereas stock-outs and financial incentives explained only 6% and 5% respectively. 
  • The study said 28% providers prescribed/dispensed ORS when standardized patients expressed no preference, and 55% prescribed ORS when they expressed an ORS preference. 
  • A press release from the University of Southern California, quoting the authors said these results could be used to design interventions that encourage patients and caretakers to express preference for ORS when seeking care. 

18. India-Saudi Arabia joint military exercise ends 

  • The maiden joint military exercise, Sada Tanseeq, between the Indian Army and the Royal Saudi Land Force concluded at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges in Jaipur on Friday. 
  • The 12-day exercise aimed to achieve interoperability between the two forces and acquaint each other with operational procedures and combat drills under the UN mandate, Col. Amitabh Sharma, Defence spokesperson, said in a statement. 
  • The Indian contingent of the 20th Battalion of The Brigade of Guards Regiment and the Saudi Arabian contingent comprising a group of 45 soldiers of Royal Saudi Land Force participated in the exercise which was conducted in two phases. 

19. Prudence prevails Policymakers must continue to keep the focus on slowing price gains 

  • The RBI's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has prudently opted to persist with its objective of 'ensuring that inflation progressively aligns to the target' by keeping benchmark interest rates unchanged, and sticking with its stance of 'withdrawal of accommodation'. With a 5-1 majority, it has committed to keeping monetary policy unambiguously disinflationary so as to anchor inflation expectations, especially at a time when 'large and repetitive price shocks are interrupting the pace of disinflation'. On the rationale to leave the repo rate unchanged at 6.5% for a sixth straight meeting, Governor Shaktikanta Das observed that while domestic economic momentum remained strong, uncertainties in food prices continued to impinge on the headline inflation trajectory. The tangible risk that food price pressures could become more generalized and impact broader headline inflation was the main consideration, he explained. That the majority of the MPC was aligned in prioritizing the battle against inflation needs to be seen in the backdrop of the recent trends in retail inflation. Headline retail inflation, which had eased from July's 15-month peak of 7.4% to 4.87% in October, however, rebounded to a four-month high of 5.69% in December, with food price gains gauged by the Consumer Food Price Index racing ahead to 9.53%, a sizeable 292 basis points faster than October's 6.61%.
  • That the uncertainty surrounding food price gains has begun to vex policymakers is reflected in a recent RBI Bulletin article that pointedly sought to find an answer to the question, 'Are Food Prices the 'True' Core of India's Inflation?'. Concluding that there is enough empirical evidence to support an assertion that 'there are times when food inflation mimics core inflation', the officials caution that given food's substantial share in the consumption basket, large and re- peated food price shocks have the potential to ripple outward and undermine the goal of price stability by de-anchoring inflation expectations. The MPC's downward revision of its projection for average retail inflation in the January-March quarter to 5.0%, 20 basis points lower than its December forecast, reflects the small comfort policymakers have taken from the improvement in rabi sowing as well as a seasonal correction in vegetable prices. Still, the Department of Consumer Affairs' daily price monitoring dashboard shows the average retail price of more than two-thirds of the key food items it tracks remained higher on a year-on-year basis as on February 8. Policymakers need to stay steadfast in their resolve to durably slow price gains towards the 4% target or risk dampening consumption and thereby undermining the growth momentum. 

20. Chhattisgarh's fiscal road map: budget emphasizes capital spending and GDP doubling 

  • Chhattisgarh Finance Minister O.P. Choudhary on Friday unveiled the State budget of 1,47,446 crores for the upcoming fiscal year, placing a strong emphasis on boosting capital expenditure and outlining a roadmap towards doubling the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) over the next five years. 
  • Presenting the budget in the State Assembly, Mr. Choudhary used the acronym GYAN to describe Gareeb (poor), Yuva (youth), Annadata (farmers) and Naari (women) to underscore the focus groups whose economic development his government was prioritizing. .
  • In his budget speech, Mr. Choudhary said that the provision for capital expenditure had been increased by 20% as compared to last year. The outlay amount of ₹22,300 crores is 15% of the total budget. 
  • In the press conference that followed, he said the average increase in Capex was 12% in the past five years. 
  • He added that the government would provide a vision document on how Chhattisgarh will form from a developing State to a developed State by 2047. The name vision paper will be: "Amritual: Chhattisgarh Vision/@2047", doing that in the medium term, the target double GSDP. 
  • "Today our Chhattis garh's GDP is approximately 5 lakh crore. Our midterm target will be to increase it to 10 lakh crore in the next 5 years by the year 2028," he said. 
  • The Finance Minister, however, said that the GSDP growth rate in Chhattisgarh being below the national average (GDP) was worrying. 
  • A major portion of the budget would be spent on fulfilling "Modi ki Guarantee" a term used by the BJP to describe its pre-poll ma- nifesto in the run up to the November 2023 Assembly election. Key among them is the ₹10,000 crores proposed under the Krishak Unnati Yojna under which farmers would receive ₹3,100 per per quintal of Another key promise was ticking off the pending list of the construction of homes for 18 lakh rural poor, the cost for which is estimated to be 18,369 crore. 
  • Similarly, ₹3,000 crore have been allocated for the Mahatari Vandan Yojna, a financial assistance scheme for married women. Allocations have been made for various central schemes too.

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