Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 5th February 2024

1. When taxman cometh for nuns' share 

  • The Supreme Court has decided to examine whether nuns earning salaries must pay income tax. 
  • Christian missionary orders, from the Franciscans to the Carmelites, recently argued in the apex court that nuns and priests enter a state of "civil death" when they take their vow of poverty, and so need not pay tax. 
  • Their "salaries" are not used for their personal expenses, but go to their respective congregations, they argued. The orders also contended that a nun takes the three sacred vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty after undergoing rigorous training. 
  • Nuns, who live ascetic lives, cannot own property and will never marry. The income they earn becomes that of their congregations, which submit tax returns if necessary. 
  • "Once a person takes the vow of poverty, she denounces all her earthly relationships with the natural family. She undergoes civil death. Even if the natural parents of a nun die intestate, the assets of the deceased parents do not devolve upon the nun," said one of the petitions, filed by the Sister Superior of the Franciscan Missionary of St. Clare, represented by advocate Romy Chacko. 
  • The various ecclesiastical orders have challenged a December 1, 2014 Income Tax Department directive to educational authorities and district treasury officers to effect tax deducted at source (TDS) from members of religious congregations receiving salaries from the government. The directive was challenged in the Kerala High Court, but without success. The High Court had concluded that canon law tenets that a religious congregation has "overriding title over its members", but cannot prevail over civil law. 
  • The appeal in the Supreme Court has now argued that a person who undergoes "civil death" cannot earn an income. However, the High Court had reasoned that a person who was in a state of "civil death" cannot be expected to carry on "regular activities" and enjoy fundamental rights. 
  • "The High Court has wrongly mixed up civil death and suspension of fundamental rights... 'Civil death' only means the assessee cannot earn any income and she loses proprietary rights. Civil death does not mean suspension of fundamental rights or to lead a cloistered life. 
  • The point is not whether she can practice any profession but whether she does it as a part of charity without earning an income for herself," said the special leave petition filed in the Supreme Court. 

2. SIAC denied Sony's plea to stop enforcing merger, says ZEEL

  • Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. on Sunday said the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has denied the Sony Group's plea to restrain the Indian media company from approaching the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to enforce a merger that was called off by the Japanese company's Indian arm. 
  • "We wish to inform you that the Emergency Arbitrator has passed an award dated February 4, 2024, denying the application for emergency interim relief filed by Culver Max and BEPL (Bangla Entertainment Pvt. Ltd) and has determined that the Emergency Arbitrator has no jurisdiction or authority to injunct the Company from approaching the NCLT to implement the Merger Scheme since these are matters which fall within the statutory system and are for the NCLT to decide," it said. 
  • Sony last month terminated the agreement with Zee to merge its two Indian entities Culver Max Entertainment (earlier known as Sony Pictures Network India) and the BEPL. 
  • Sony Group Corporation (SGC) had said the ZEEL did not satisfy the merger conditions and initiated arbitration proceedings before SIAC claiming $90 million as a termination fee. 
  • Zee filed a petition before the NCLT, seeking direction to the Sony group to implement the merger scheme. They also initiated legal action to contest the $90-million claim. 

3. French electronics major Thales to expand strategic collaborations with India 

  • French electronics major Thales is significantly expanding its investments as well as sourcing from India. A joint venture, Thales Reliance Defence Systems LtdNagpur is now the Group's global production center for airport navigational aids, while Bharat Electronics Limited-Thales Systems in Bangalore manufactures high-tech products such as low-band receivers for the electronic warfare suite of Rafale jets. 
  • We are trying to expand " and strengthen our local footprint," said Ashish Saraf, vice-president and country director, Thales India. 
  • India is currently negotiating the purchase of 26 Rafale Jets for the Navy. 
  • In addition, Thales will be establishing a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in the Delhi-National Capital Region with "multi-million-Euro" investment for its Indian airline customers focused towards avionics, Mr. Ashraf said in a written interview to The Hindu. "India is a strategic country for Thales with immense potential across our key markets including defense, aerospace as well as digital identity and security solutions. We take pride in our partnership with India built over the past seven decades," he said. 
  • Elaborating on the MRO facility, he said that "combining the strengths of the Indian civil aviation market with Thales's prowess in avionics", they are investing in an MRO set-up in India to provide "world-class service efficiency" to their airline customers. "In the spirit of 'Make in India', we are also further building on our defense foothold by developing local services capacity to better support our Indian defense customers to achieve their operational readiness as well as provide all integrated logistics support in India, including maintenance, spare parts, and training," Mr. Ashraf said. 
  • Stating that they have steadily built advanced in country capabilities across manufacturing, critical systems, and services in India through local teams and collaborations, Mr. Ashraf said their objective has been "Make in India for India and for the world", enabling the local industry to play a greater role in worldwide markets.
  • "We are investing in the larger supply chain ecosystem in India. Our purchasing volume in India in the last five years has been around €750 million. This supply chain ecosystem has led to creation of close to 2,000 indirect jobs in India," he said. 

4. Micro-credentials, the next chapter in higher education 

  • Higher education institutes (HEls) in India must play a much more active role in ensuring that students become employable by connecting them with the careers and job opportunities of tomorrow. This is because there is a gap between the knowledge that students acquire in HEIs and the knowledge they must have in order to become employable. 
  • Micro-credentials are emerging as a disruptive way of bridging this gap to acquire 'just-in-time" modern skills and competencies. They are evolving as the new normal in higher education due to their flexibility, accessibility, and advantages. It must be noted that hiring practices are also changing, with a tendency to prioritize skills over degrees, and the endorsement of micro-credentials is on the rise. 
  • The essence of micro-credentials What are micro-credentials? They are short-duration learning activities with proof of specific learning outcomes that are validated through a standard and reliable assessment process. Micro-credentials are offered in online, physical, or hybrid modes at various levels, such as beginning, intermediate, or advanced. In contrast to micro-credentials, students must study for several years to obtain macro-credentials such as undergraduate degrees. In addition, micro-credentials can also be designed for life-long learners, i.e., working professionals who may not be able to attend a formal degree programme in a university. 
  • Micro-credentials, as a path to life-long learning, are still developing. An obvious sign of this is how assorted terminologies, such as digital badges, micro-master degrees, nano-degrees, and online certificates, are being used for this short-duration learning. 
  • Multiple players such as Atingi,, Credly, Coursera, edX, FutureLearn, Google, Linkedin, Microsoft, PwC and Udacity offer micro-credentials. Many universities in Australia, Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States are also engaged in providing Jagadesh Kumar is Chairman, University Grants Commission (UGC) and was the twelfth Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University 
  • Higher education institutes in India can be the catalysts in integrating microcredentials with existing academic programmes 
  • In formal degree programmes conducted by HEIs, 'credits' are used to assign value to different forms of learning-lectures, tutorials, laboratory work, seminars, projects, internships and so on. In such macro-credential programmes, courses are generally designed to be of three to four credits, and one credit corresponds to one hour of lecture or two hours of lab work per week. Therefore, in conventional educational programmes, 'credit' is associated with the time spent in a classroom or a lab. However, in micro-credentials, the trend is to associate the credit with the notional hours spent acquiring a defined minimum competency. As this makes micro-credential credits consistent with those in conventional higher education, they can be universally validated and recognised. 
  • Regardless of this, what is required is clear quality benchmarking and a regulation of these micro-credentials to prevent significant divergences in learning outcomes and facilitate their easy endorsement in the workplace and higher education institutes. 
  • India now has a National Credit Framework (NCrF), which spells out learning outcomes and corresponding credits a student should accumulate in order to progress to the next level of learning. One of the primary benefits of micro-credentials is that they are portable and stackable on a digital platform such as the Academic Bank of Credits (ABC). 
  • To ensure that micro-credentials denote a genuine acquisition of skills, they must be aligned with higher education standards in the areas of delivery, assessment, grading and the awarding of qualifications. Our capacity to devise reliable assessment methods is critical in fostering trust in micro-credentials, and in this task, the association of HEIs is of great importance. 
  • For students in Indian universities, micro-credentials can open up opportunities in integrating diverse skills as a part of their regular education, or they can store the credits on the ABC platform for redemption later or to get a separate certificate or diploma in addition to their macro-credentials. Depending on the duration and learning outcomes, micro-credentials can be given as between one to five credit short modules. Or, learners can accumulate multiple short modules to earn the total number of credits required to obtain a degree as specified in the NCrF. 
  • As the NCrF is being implemented across the country, it is the right time for Indian HEIs to plan to develop micro-credentials in partnership with industry. The NCrF offers an opportunity for HEIS to examine the development of credit-based micro-credentials as a part of regular degree programmes. Broader deliberations must take place on the potential impact of micro-credentials and the additional value they can create in the tertiary education system. Is there enough demand for micro-credentials in India? With the focus of the National Education 
  • Policy 2020 on providing skilled education to students right from school to the higher levels, and with employers looking for young employees with adequate skills and competencies to boost productivity, learners are increasingly viewing micro-credentials as a value-added advantage. Therefore, millions of students could be looking to earn micro-credentials either as stand-alone credits or as a component of their standard higher education. 
  • Indian HEIs must serve as agents of transformation and consider introducing micro-credentials a vital element of their strategic institutional objectives. Further to this, regulators and HEls must work towards harmonizing micro-credentials with existing academic programmes by coming up with clear validation. metrics. 

5. Mass wedding: U.P. to link couples' details with Aadhaar 

  • The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to link the details of the newly wed couples with Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and Aadhaar to prevent any repeat of the fraud committed in Ballia in the Chief Minister's Mass Marriage Scheme in which 240 ineligible people enrolled themselves to derive benefits, Social Welfare Minister Asim Arun said on Sunday. 
  • The government will give marriage certificates to couples on the spot in the programme to stop the repeat of the fraud, he said. 
  • "Marriage certificate will be given on the spot itself. The photo of the bride and groom will be on it. We will do the Aadhaar auth- entication of the girl. But, we should do a check on the spot to see if any other woman has come [in her place]," Mr. Arun said. 

6. GRSE and Rolls-Royce sign agreement to manufacture ‘MTU S4000’ marine engines in India 

  • Kolkata-based warship construction company Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) and Rolls-Royce signed a 'frame and individual license' agreement for license production and localisation of MTU IMO Tier II Series 4000 – 'MTU S4000' marine engine for government vessels. 
  • The IMO Tier II engines, which conform to prescribed emission standards set by the United Nations' International Maritime Organization (IMO), will be manufactured at GRSE's diesel engine plant in Ranchi, Jharkhand. 
  • GRSE said in a statement that the move will help the state-owned shipyard to build fast patrol vessels, interceptor boats and fast attack craft projects for the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard. 
  • The MTU Series 4000 engines from Rolls-Royce Power Systems, a division of Rolls-Royce, have a power output of 746-4300 kW, providing the perfect propulsion for every naval vessel, from small patrol vessels to frigates and large submarines. Typical features include highpower density, strength-to-weight ratio, compact design and finally also mechanical and thermal stability. 
  • The license agreement between GRSE and Rolls-Royce adds to a long-standing partnership dating back to the mid-1980s on line production, maintenance, repair and overhaul of MTU engines.

7. According to the interim budget 2024-25, Bhutan is the top country receiving Indian aid. 

  • The Government of India has allocated an estimated amount of Rs 5,667.56 crore as grants and loans to foreign governments for the financial year 2024-25. Whereas in 2023-24, ₹6,541.79 crore was provided. 
  • Bhutan has emerged as the primary recipient of grants and loans from the Government of India, according to the Union Budget documents released after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the interim budget. 
  • Bhutan and Nepal will be the top two recipients of government grants. Bhutan has been allocated Rs 2068.56 crore for developmental assistance, while Nepal has been earmarked Rs 700 crore. 
  • At the same time, India has proposed a 22% cut in aid to Maldives for the 2024-25 financial year. Maldives is now expected to get Rs 600 crore for developmental assistance. 
  • Several other countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Latin American countries, are also seeing a reduction in allocation for the financial year 2024-25. But surprisingly, an increase has been seen in the budget allocation for Sri Lanka, African countries, Mauritius and Seychelles. 

Major countries – 2023-24 

  1. Bhutan: Rs 2398.97 crore 
  2. Maldives: Rs 770.90 crore 
  3. Nepal: Rs 650 crore 
  4. Myanmar: Rs 370 crore 
  5. Mauritius: Rs 330 crore 
  6. Afghanistan: Rs 220 crore 
  7. Bangladesh: Rs 130 crore 
  8. Sri Lanka: Rs 60 crore 
  9. Seychelles: Rs 9.91 crore 
  10. Mongolia: Rs 5 crore 

8. Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of ₹27,000 crore 'Talabira Thermal Power Project' in Odisha 

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of 3 x 800 (2,400) MW supercritical thermal power plant ‘Talabira’ of Neyveli Lignite Corporation India Limited (NLCIL) in Sambalpur, Odisha on February 3, 2024. 
  • ‘Talabira’ thermal power project will be constructed at a cost of more than ₹27,000 crore. This stateof-the-art project will provide reliable, affordable and uninterrupted power, which will significantly contribute to the energy security of the country and play a vital role in driving economic growth. 
  • This pithead will be intricately linked to NLCIL's captive coal blocks, Talabira II and III, ensuring power station sustainability. The thermal power plant boasts of high efficiency, low carbon footprint and an impressive 10% eco-friendly biomass co-firing initiative. 
  • Power purchase agreements (PPAs) have already ensured supply of 800 MW to Odisha, 1,500 MW to Tamil Nadu, 400 MW to Kerala and 100 MW to Puducherry. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the main plant, worth ₹18,255 crore, has been awarded to BHEL. 
  • PM visited Odisha and inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of projects worth over Rs 68,000 crore in the state. Modi unveiled several infrastructure projects in the state across various sectors such as power, roads and railways. 

9. Journalist Federation of India honored late 'The Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh with gold medal. 

  • Legendary Indian track and field sprinter Milkha Singh was posthumously awarded the Sports Journalists Federation of India (SJFI) gold medal. He was selected posthumously in the award category. 
  • The award was received by his son Jeev Milkha Singh, a renowned international golfer, from former international cricketer Yograj Singh at a function organized by the Punjab Haryana Chandigarh Sports Journalists Association. 
  • Queen of Indian track, P T Usha was awarded gold medal in another event of SJFI in New Delhi. 
  • Milkha, known across the world as 'Flying Sikh', won four gold medals in the Asian Games in Tokyo in 1958 and the Asian Games in Jakarta in 1962. 
  • Milkha Singh is the only athlete to win gold in 400 meters at the Asian Games as well as the Commonwealth Games. He was the first Indian to finish fourth in the men's 400 meters race at the Rome Olympics in 1960. 
  • SJFI Gold Medal was established in 2018. Previous winners were tennis legend Vijay Amritraj, badminton maestro Prakash Padukone and cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar. 

10. Justice Ritu Bahri becomes the first woman Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court 

  • Justice Ritu Bahri took oath as the first woman Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court. Governor retired Lieutenant General Gurmeet Singh administered him the oath. Justice Ritu Bahri has previously been a senior judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. 
  • Justice Vipin Sanghi had retired as the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court on October 26, after which senior judge Manoj Kumar Tiwari was made the acting Chief Justice. 
  • Justice Bahri has become the second woman Chief Justice of the country out of 25 High Courts, before her Justice Sunita Aggarwal was appointed the woman Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court. 
  •  According to the notification issued on 2 February 2024 by the Department of Justice, Union Ministry of Law and Justice, “In exercise of the power conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, the President has appointed Justice. 
  • In 2000, when Uttarakhand was separated from Uttar Pradesh, the High Court of Uttarakhand was also established in Nainital, with Chief Justice Ashok A. Desai as its founder. 

Justice Ritu Bahri 

  • Born on October 11, 1962 in Jalandhar, Punjab, Justice Bahri belongs to a family of eminent lawyers. Her great grandfather, late Karam Chand Bahri, was a renowned lawyer. Her grandfather, late Som Dutt Bahri, also practiced law and was an MLA from Punjab from 1952 to 1957. His father Justice Amrit Lal Bahri retired as a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 1994. 
  • In March 1992, she was appointed as the Assistant Advocate General of Haryana, and in 1999, as Deputy Advocate General and in December 2009, as Senior Advocate General. In August 2010, she was elevated as judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. 

Rajasthan Chief Justice 

  • Acting Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court Manindra Mohan Srivastava was appointed Chief Justice with effect from October 18, 2021. Earlier, Judge Srivastava was a judge in Chhattisgarh High Court. The vacancy in the Rajasthan High Court arose due to the elevation of Justice Augustine George Masih to the Supreme Court. 

10. Russian cosmonaut sets world record for time spent in space 

  • Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko has broken the world record for the most cumulative time spent in space, Russia Space agency Roscosmos reported. 
  • The 59-year-old has now spent more than 878 days and 12 hours in space, surpassing fellow Russian Gennady Padalka, who set the previous record of 878 days, 11 hours, 29 minutes, and 48 seconds in 2015. 
  • Kononenko has made five journeys to the International Space Station, dating back to 2008. 
  • Kononenko’s current trip to the ISS began on September 15, 2023, when he launched alongside NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara and Roscosmos compatriot Nikolai Chub. By the end of this expedition, the cosmonaut is expected to become the first person to accumulate 1,000 days in space. 

About Russia 

  • Capital – Moscow 
  • Currency – Rubel 
  • President – Vladimir Putin 

11. India finished fifth at FIH Hockey5s World Cup 

  • The first ever men’s FIH Hockey5s World Cup came to a thrilling conclusion with the Netherlands overcoming Malaysia to lift the trophy. 
  • Malaysia can be justifiably proud of their silver medal. 
  • Six of their players were part of the squad that clinched the gold medal at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, which was played in the Hockey5s format. 
  • Earlier, India had a point to prove against Egypt, having lost to them in the pool stage, and they came out firing in a 6-4 win for 5th place. 

Men’s Hockey5s World Cup 2024 

  • Host Country – Oman 
  • Teams – 16 
  • Winner – Netherland 
  • Runner Up -Malaysia 
  • 3rd place – Oman 
  • Top Scorer – Waheed Rana (Pakistan, 23 goals) 
  • Best Player – Akhimullah Annur (Malaysia) 
  • Best Young Player – Hannan Shahid (Pakistan) 
  • Best Goal Keeper – Joey van Walstijn (Netherlands) 

12. Jagdeep Dhankhar Released the book titled ‘9 Incredible Years of Haryana Government 

  • Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar has released a book titled “9 Incredible Years of Haryana Government: Emergence of a New and Vibrant Haryana” in Surajkund, Faridabad. 
  • The book encapsulated perspectives from individuals occupying various positions in politics, education, social work, administration and the judiciary. 
  • Insightful contributions from intellectuals regarding the state government’s initiatives for the nation and society are also featured in the book. 

Recent Books 

  • Ek Samandar, Mere Andar – Sanjeev Joshi 
  • Pranab My father – Sharmistha Mukherjee 
  • The Cooking Books – Ramchandra Guha 
  • 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) 

13. Namibia’s President Hage Geingob passes away 

  • Namibia’s President Hage Geingob passed away at the age of 82 in Windhoek. 
  • Geingob, who was serving his second term as President, revealed last month that he was receiving treatment for cancer. 
  • First elected president in 2014, Geingob was Namibia’s longest serving prime minister and third president. 
  • In 2013, Geingob underwent brain surgery, and last year he underwent an aortic operation in neighbouring South Africa. 

About Namibia 

  • Capital – Windhoek 
  • Currency – Namibian dollar, South African rand 
  • Prime Minister – Saara Kuugongelwa 
  • Official language – English 

14. France Takes Lead As First EU Nation To Offer Digital Visas 

  • As of January 1, 2024, France has pioneered the issuance of Digital Schengen visas, marking a significant leap in streamlining visa processes within the European Union. 
  • This groundbreaking initiative precedes the broader digitalization of Schengen visa procedures scheduled for full implementation in 2026. 
  • France takes the lead in digitalizing the Schengen visa system, setting the stage for a more efficient and streamlined application process. The initiative aims to enhance visa accessibility and convenience, particularly with the upcoming major sporting events in mind. 

15. Michelle O’Neill Becomes Northern Ireland’s First Minister 

  • In a groundbreaking move, Michelle O’Neill, an Irish nationalist representing Sinn Fein, has been appointed as Northern Ireland’s First Minister. 
  • O’Neill’s appointment reflects Sinn Fein’s (Political party) aspiration for a United Ireland, a vision they believe is now within grasp. Her elevation to the position of First Minister signifies the party’s growing influence and political clout in Northern Ireland. 
  • O’Neill’s commitment to serving all citizens equally, as demonstrated in her address to the assembly, underscores her role as a leader for all of Northern Ireland. Her appointment signals a new era of inclusivity and representation in the region’s political leadership. 

16. Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya Inaugurates AIIMS Bhubaneswar’s New Facilities 

  • Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya recently spearheaded the inauguration of cutting-edge healthcare facilities at AIIMS Bhubaneswar, marking a pivotal moment for healthcare in Odisha. 
  • The newly inaugurated Dharmasala boasts 492 beds distributed across 159 rooms. Its affordability ensures patients and their attendants have access to unprecedented lodging options within the state. 
  • The newly inaugurated Trauma Centre, equipped with an ICU, modular OTs, and advanced diagnostic services, stands as a beacon of hope during traumatic situations. 
  • The introduction of the HELA Machine signifies a revolutionary leap in cancer care. Employing cutting-edge technology, this device ensures precise radiation therapy, significantly reducing waiting times for cancer patients. 

17. Ellora Ajanta Festival Held From Feb 2-4, 2024 

  • The Ellora – Ajanta International Festival, held in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar concluded marking the end of a three-day musical extravaganza that delighted audiences with a rich cultural treat. 
  • After a seven-year hiatus, the event returned in 2023. Now, the district plans to host it annually in early February. District Guardian Minister Sandipan Bhumre expressed confidence that the festival would bring cultural acclaim to the city, contributing to its global recognition. 
  • The festival showcased a diverse range of performances, including Ganesh Vandana Bharatnatyam by State Tourism Youth Ambassador Naveli Deshmukh, Bharatnatyam dance by Dr. Sandhya Purecha’s troupe and Instruments Fusion by Stree Shakti led by Pandita Anuradha Pal. 

18. Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit Resigns 

  • Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Administrator Banwarilal Purohit resigned from his post, citing “personal reasons.” 
  • Purohit’s resignation comes just a day after meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi. The timing of his resignation, following the BJP’s triumph in the Chandigarh mayoral polls where they secured all three posts. 
  • Banwarilal Purohit, born on 16 April 1940, is an Indian politician who served as the 29th Governor of Punjab, India, and Administrator of Chandigarh until 3 February 2024. He previously served as the Governor of Tamil Nadu from 2017 to 2021 and the Governor of Assam from 2016 to 2017. 

19. Assam Welcomes Northeast’s First Naturopathy Hospital 

  • Union Minister of Ayush and Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, along with Chief Minister Assam, laid the foundation stone for the Central Research Institute of Yoga & Naturopathy (CRIYN) and a 100-bedded Naturopathy hospital at Dihing Khamtighat in Dibrugarh. 
  • The institution, a pioneering force in Ayush, aims to blend traditional knowledge of Yoga and Naturopathy with modern technology. The investment of approximately ₹100 crores signifies a significant step towards promoting holistic healthcare in the region. 
  • CRIYN is poised to set benchmark standards in education, preventive healthcare, and research in Yoga and Naturopathy. Scientific validation of traditional medicine practices will be the cornerstone, fostering evidence-based research and promoting international collaboration. 

20. Uttarakhand Cabinet Approves Uniform Civil Code Bill: Tabled In Assembly On Feb 6 

  • The Uttarakhand Cabinet, led by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, has greenlit the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) bill, marking a historic move. 
  • The bill, crafted based on recommendations from a government-appointed committee, will be presented in the Uttarakhand Assembly on February 6. The committee suggests banning polygamy and child marriage, advocating for uniform marriageable age and divorce procedures 
  • If passed, Uttarakhand would be the first state post-Independence to adopt the Uniform Civil Code, aiming to standardize civil laws for all citizens, irrespective of their religious affiliations. 

21. RBI Data Indicates 97.5% Return Of ₹2,000 Notes To Circulation 

  • In a move that reshaped the currency landscape, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) declared the withdrawal of ₹2,000 denomination banknotes on May 19 last year. 
  • The RBI’s announcement on January 1, 2024, revealed that a staggering 97.38 per cent of ₹2,000 notes in circulation had been successfully returned. 
  • The once ubiquitous ₹2,000 banknotes, totaling ₹3.56 lakh crore on May 19, 2023, witnessed a remarkable decline. As of January 31, 2024, the total value shrunk to ₹8,897 crore, signifying that 97.50 percent of these notes have made their way back to the system. 

22. Adani Group’s $1.2 Billion Copper Plant Boosts India’s Metal Independence For Energy Transition 

  • The Gautam Adani-led Adani Group is constructing the world’s largest single-location copper manufacturing plant in Mundra, Gujarat. 
  • This $1.2 billion facility, set to commence its first phase operations by March-end, aims to reach a full-scale production capacity of 1 million tonnes by 2029. 
  • This strategic move aligns with India’s efforts to reduce dependence on copper imports and support the global shift towards sustainable energy sources. 

23. International Day Of Zero Tolerance For Female Genital Mutilation 2024 

  • February 6th, 2024, marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a pivotal moment for communities worldwide to unite against a practice that infringes on the rights, health, and well-being of millions of women and girls. 
  • This day serves not only as a call to action but also as a reminder of the progress made and the challenges that remain in the fight to eradicate FGM. 
  • The theme for 2024 focuses on “Her Voice. Her Future,” emphasizing the crucial role that community-led initiatives play in achieving lasting change. Share with the world how you support #HerVoiceMatters in leading the #EndFGM moveme 

24. India Energy Week 2024: Goa Gets Ready For India’s Largest And Only All-Encompassing Energy Exhibition And Conference 

  • Building on the resounding success of the 2023 edition, India Energy Week 2024 is set to take place in Goa from February 6 to 9, 2024. 
  • This premier event, inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, is the country’s largest and sole comprehensive energy exhibition and conference. 
  • The event will be held at Quitol, South Goa, with the inauguration ceremony taking place on February 6 at the IPSHEM-ONGC Training Institute. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will officiate the opening, marking the beginning of a four-day event that concludes on February 9. 

25. Mukesh Ambani Tops Global Brand Guardianship Index 2024 

  • Mukesh Ambani, the visionary leader steering Reliance Industries Limited, secures the first position among Indian executives and an impressive second globally in the prestigious Brand Guardianship Index 2024 by Brand Finance. 
  • This recognition places Ambani ahead of renowned global leaders such as Satya Nadella, Sundar Pichai, Tim Cook, and Elon Musk. 
  • Brand Finance’s survey awarded Mukesh Ambani an impressive Brand Guardianship Index (BGI) score of 80.3. He stands just below the leading score of 81.6 held by Huateng Ma of China-based Tencent. The BGI utilizes a balanced scorecard, emphasizing CEOs’ ability to act as stewards of their company’s brand and long-term value. 

26. Apurva Chandra Take Charge As Health Secretary 

  • Apurva Chandra used to be in charge of the Information and Broadcasting department, but now he’s going to be the Health Secretary. He’s been working for the government since 1988, so he has a lot of experience. 
  • Sanjay Jaju is going to take Apurva Chandra’s old job as the Information and Broadcasting Secretary. He used to work in Telangana and started his government job in 1992. 
  • Ashish Kumar Bhutani will be the new Secretary for the Ministry of Cooperation. Raj Kumar Goyal is going to be the Secretary for the Department of Border Management. Niten Chandra moves from Legal Affairs to take care of Ex-Servicemen Welfare. 
  • K. Moses Chalai is now in charge of the Inter-State Council Secretariat. Anil Malik is preparing to lead the Ministry of Women and Child Development after Indevar Pandey retires. 

27.Ranveer Singh Joins BoAt As A Stakeholder And Brand Ambassador 

  • Bollywood superstar Ranveer Singh has recently invested in the popular lifestyle brand boAt, becoming not only a stakeholder but also the official face of the brand’s audio products. 
  • This partnership marks a strategic move for boAt, as they welcome Singh into their illustrious list of brand ambassadors, which already features notable celebrities and sports personalities. 
  • With Ranveer Singh on board, boAt’s lineup of brand ambassadors now includes some of the most influential names in the entertainment and sports industry, such as Kiara Advani, Rashmika Mandanna, and cricket stars Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, and Jemimah Rodrigues. 

28.Grammy Awards 2024 

  • The 66th Annual Grammy Awards, marking a significant milestone in the music industry, celebrated the most remarkable recordings, compositions, and artists of the year, from October 1, 2022, to September 30, 2023. 
  • Hosting for the fourth consecutive time, Trevor Noah brought his charismatic presence and sharp wit to the stage, making the night unforgettable for both the winners and the worldwide viewers. 
  • This year’s ceremony not only highlighted the incredible talent and achievements within the music industry but also continued the tradition of celebrating the universal language of music in all its diversity and splendour. 

29.Priest Ishwari Prasad Namboodiri Honored With The Shankar Smriti Award 

  • Priest Ishwari Prasad Namboodiri, the chief priest (Rawal) of the world-renowned Badrinath Dham in Uttarakhand, was honoured with the Shankar Smriti Award in Kerala. 
  • This recognition marks a significant acknowledgement of his dedication and service to the spiritual domain, enhancing the rich tapestry of Indian religious practices. 
  • Awarded annually during the 103rd Malliyoor Bhagavat Hamsa Smarana Utsav in Kerala’s Kottayam district, the Shankar Smriti Award celebrates outstanding contributions to spirituality, art, and service. 
  • The Malliyoor Bhagavat Hamsa Smriti Trust presents this award to individuals who have shown exceptional dedication to ritual practice, meditation, and the pursuit of spiritual service. 

30. India’s Woman Robot Astronaut “Vyommitra” Will Fly Into Space Ahead Of ISRO’s Ambitious “Gaganyaan” Mission 

  • In a pioneering leap for India’s space endeavors, Vyommitra, the woman robot astronaut developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is set to embark on an uncrewed mission in the third quarter of this year. 
  • The mission, named after the Sanskrit words “Vyoma” (Space) and “Mitra” (Friend), signifies a significant stride towards the ambitious Gaganyaan mission, the country’s maiden manned space flight, slated for 2025. 
  • Vyommitra, equipped with advanced capabilities, is designed to monitor module parameters, issue alerts, and execute life support operations. 
  • This female robot astronaut simulates human functions in the space environment, interacting seamlessly with the Life Support System. Its tasks include operating six panels and responding to queries, showcasing its versatility for space exploration. 

31.Rocky Actor Carl Weathers Passed Away At 76 

  • On February 1st, 2024, the entertainment world was rocked by the news of the passing of Carl Weathers, a beloved Hollywood actor renowned for his unforgettable roles in ‘Rocky’ and ‘Predator.’ The announcement was made by Deadline, a leading US-based media outlet. 
  • Born on January 14, 1948, in New Orleans, Carl Weathers embarked on a remarkable journey in the world of cinema. With a career spanning five decades, he left an indelible mark on audiences worldwide. 
  • Weathers etched his name in cinematic history with his portrayal of Apollo Creed, the charismatic and formidable heavyweight champion in the ‘Rocky’ franchise. His electrifying performances opposite Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa captivated audiences and earned him a place in the pantheon of Hollywood legends.

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