Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 15th March 2024


National News 

1.Modi will travel to Bhutan next week

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Bhutan next week, announced the visiting Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay after the two leaders met in New Delhi on Thursday night. Mr. Tobgay is on a five-day visit to India and is expected to return to Thimphu on Monday, after which Mr. Modi will travel there, officials said. 
  • No press statement was made after the meeting, but Mr. Modi posted on X that he had "productive discussions encompassing various aspects of [India- Bhutan's] unique and special partnership" and thanked the King of Bhutan Mr. Tobgay for the invitation to Bhutan next week. \
  • Mr. Tobgay said that he had thanked Mr. Modi for his "steadfast support to Bhutan" during their meeting and confirmed the Prime Minister's acceptance. "Modi ji also agreed to visit Bhutan soon... next week, in fact!" he added. 
  • The announcement is significant as it not only indicates the strong ties between Bhutan and India, with their Prime Ministers exchanging back-to-back visits but could cast a shadow on when dates for general elections would be announced. According to the model code of conduct, no major policy decisions can be made after the election dates are declared, and by convention, the Prime Minister doesn't travel abroad once they are declared. Reports had indicated that the announcement of dates by the Election Commission could come as early as Friday. If they are announced prior to Mr. Modi's travel, however, officials said that might mean no major agreements would be signed during the visit to Bhutan. 
  • This first international visit after winning elections in January this year. During his visit, he met with Exter Ha nal Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, and is due to meet Ministers of Finance, Trade and Energy on Friday, and subsequently to Mumbai where he will meet business leaders. He is expected to discuss strengthening bilateral trade, raising investment levels in infrastructure projects, and Bhutan's plans for a mega "Gelephu Mindfulness City (GMC) on Bhutan's southern border with Assam. India is watching Bhutan-China talks boundary on demarcation closely as well, and talks on the new Bhutanese government's strategy on the issue are understood to have been part of the agenda. 

2.Govt. blocks 18 OTT platforms for streaming obscene content 

  • The information & Broadcasting Ministry has Checked us wirt platforms for streaming obscene and wigar comem. Nineteen websites, 10 apps, and 57 social media handles asso cans with these platforms have also been blocked. 
  • The action has been ta Geen in coordination with Vous intermediaries for violations of the information. Dedinolingy Act, the Indian Penal Code, and the Indecent Representation of Women Prohibition) Acs. While seven of the hitacked apps were hosted on Google Play Store, three were on Apple App Store, The Ministry said. 
  • "Union Minister for in- Ismation & Broadcasting Saurag Singh Thakur has repeatedly emphasized the responshilling of the opening, walganing, and 19 websites, 10 apps. and 57 social media bundles linked to these platforms have also been blocked abuse under the guise of creative expression. On March 12, 2024, Mr. Thakur announced that 18 OTT platforms publishing ob- scene and vulgar content have been taken down," it said. 
  • The blocked platforms are Dreams Films, Voovi, Vessina, Uncut Adda, Tri Flicks, X Prime, Neon X VIP, Besharams, Hunters, Rabbit, Kimamood, Nue fiks, MoodX, Mojilix, Hot Shots VIP, Fugi, Chikooflix, and Prime Play. The Minis ny said a significant portion of the content was found to be obscene and portrayed women in a demeaning manner. 
  • "It depicted nudity and sesmall acts in various inappropriate contexts, such as relationships between teachers and students, incestuous family relationships, and so on. The content included sexual innuendos and, in some instances, prolonged segments of pornographic and sexually explicit scenes devoid of any thematic or societal relevance," it said. 
  • One of the OTT apps had amassed over one crore downloads, while two had over 50 lakh downloads on the Google Play Store. "Additionally, these platforms extensively utilized social media to disseminate trailers, spec- ific scenes, and external links aimed at attracting audiences to their websites and apps. The social media accounts had a cumulative followership of over 32 lakh users," it said. The accounts were on Facebook (12), Instagram (17), X (16), and YouTube (12). 

International News 

3.UK tests a laser weapon that can hit a coin from a kilometer 

  • The UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has conducted successful tests of its first-ever laser weapon, named “DragonFire”. 
  • The high-powered laser is designed to target and neutralize drones, offering a potentially low-cost alternative to traditional missiles.
  • The DragonFire laser weapon is expected to significantly reduce the reliance on expensive ammunition, offering a cost-effective solution for air defense. 
  • According to the UK government, firing the laser for just 10 seconds costs the equivalent of using a heater for an hour, typically less than £10 per shot. This cost efficiency makes it a promising option for military operations. 

4.Over 1500 Skeletons Discovered At Construction Site In Germany’s Nurember 

  • In Nuremberg, Germany, construction laborers stumbled upon an astonishing find while building a house: a vast number of human skeletons, indicating the presence of what may be Europe’s largest cemetery. 
  • Nearly a thousand skeletons have been unearthed so far, with estimates suggesting the total could surpass 1500. The cemetery’s location amidst a densely populated area adds to its intrigue and historical significance. 

5.President Abbas Named Mohammad Mustafa As New Palestinian PM 

  • President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority (PA) has appointed Mohammad Mustafa as the new Prime Minister. 
  • Mustafa, a U.S.-educated economist, is one of the leading Palestinian business figures with a track record of overseeing Gaza’s reconstruction efforts under Hamas’ rule. 
  • As the new Prime Minister, Mustafa will need to navigate the complex political landscape and work towards uniting the Palestinian territories, while also addressing the pressing humanitarian crisis in Gaza and reviving the stalled peace process with Israel. 

6.SpaceX Starship Lost On Return To Earth After Completing Most Of Third Test Flight 

  • SpaceX’s Starship rocket, aimed at lunar missions and beyond, faced another setback as it disintegrated during its third test flight. 
  • The Starship, consisting of the cruise vessel atop the Super Heavy rocket booster, launched from Starbase near Boca Chica Village, Texas. 
  • Mission control lost communication with Starship during re-entry, leading to its disintegration in the Earth’s atmosphere. 

State News

7. PM Modi inaugurates first auto in-plant railway siding in Gujarat 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated India's first in-plant railway siding project at Automobile Maruti Suzuki's Hansalpur plant in Gujarat through video conferencing on March 12, 2024. 
  • Suzuki Motor Gujarat Private Limited is a subsidiary of Maruti Suzuki India Limited. Maruti has invested a total of more than Rs 300 crore on this. 
  • With the opening of this plant, Maruti-Suzuki will now be able to send its cars to different parts of the country through train instead of road. Whereas it can be sent to different countries through ports. 
  • Now 3 lakh cars will be supplied annually from Hansalpur plant in Gujarat through goods trains. The annual production capacity of this plant is 7.50 lakh units. This will reduce road congestion, as a truck travels an average of 1,600 km and a train replaces 40 such trucks. 
  • This project has been developed at a cost of Rs 976 crore. It has been developed under the Centre's PM Gati Shakti Mission in partnership with the Government of Gujarat, Indian Railways and MSIL. 
  • This project will save 50,000 truck trips per year, 35 million liters of fuel used in trucks. Will reduce carbon emissions by 1,650 tonnes per year. 
  • Petronet LNG Complex at Dahej, Gujarat Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 11 March 2024 laid the foundation stone of Petronet LNG's petrochemicals complex at Dahej, estimated to cost over Rs 20,000 crore. 
  • New Petrochemicals Complex at Dahej to boost hydrogen production and demand for polypropylene at national level. The present youth population of India is what guarantees the bright future of the youth. 

8.Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar to be renamed ‘Ahilyanagar’ 

  • The Maharashtra Cabinet has approved to rename Ahmednagar district as Ahilya Nagar after the 18th-century Maratha queen Ahilyabai Holkar. 
  • The proposal to rename the city was first announced by Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde in May last year on the 298th birth anniversary of the 18th-century queenAhilyabai Holkar. 
  • Following the approval, Curry Road will be renamed Lalbaug, Sandhurst Road will now be known as Dongri, and Marine Lines will be renamed Mumbadevi. 
  • Others including Cotton Green station will be renamed Kalachowki, Charni Road will be renamed Girgaon, Dockyard Road to Mazgaon, and King Circle will be renamed Tirthakar Parshivnath. 
  • The Cabinet has also decided to rename Mumbai Central Station as Nana Jagannath Shankarsheth Station for which a proposal has been sent to the railways ministry. 

About Maharashtra 

  • Capital – Mumbai 
  • Chief Minister – Eknath Sindhe 
  • Deputy Chief Minister – Devendra Fadnavis & Ajit Pawar 
  • Governor – Ramesh Bais 

Defense News

9.Ministry of Defence approves three lakh vacancies to expand NCC 

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved a proposal for the expansion of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) with the addition of three lakh cadet vacancies. 
  • This decision comes in response to the growing demand for NCC enrolment from educational institutions across India. 
  • Since its inception in 1948 with just 20,000 cadets, the NCC will now have a sanctioned strength of 20 lakh cadets, solidifying its position as the world’s largest uniformed youth organization. 
  • The expansion plan aims to evenly distribute vacancies across all States and Union Territories, reducing the waiting list of institutions seeking NCC affiliation. 
  • It involves the establishment of four new Group Headquarters and the addition of two new NCC units. 

Important Days News 

10.World Consumer Rights Day 2024 

  • World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated annually on March 15 across the globe. This day aims to raise awareness about the rights and responsibilities of consumers in the marketplace. 
  • It emphasizes the importance of protecting consumer rights, ensuring fair and ethical business practices, and holding companies accountable. 
  • This year, the theme chosen by Consumers International for World Consumer Rights Day 2024 is ‘Fair and responsible AI for consumers.’ 

11. 15 March – Pi Day

  • Every year, Pi Day is observed to commemorate the constant value of Pi and how it simplifies calculations for us. 
  • Pi is an important symbol in Mathematics, Statistics and Physics. It is the ratio of the circumference of the circle to the diameter. 
  • The ratio is a constant of 3.14 PI. In most calculations in Mathematics, Physics and Statistics, the value of Pi plays a significant role. 
  • Pi is one of the most widely known mathematical constants that is applied in calculations inside and outside of science. 
  • The constant value of Pi was first calculated by Mathematician Archimedes of Syracuse. In 1737, Leonhard Euler used the symbol of Pi, and hence it got accepted in the scientific community. 
  • In the year 1988, American physicist Larry Shaw celebrated the first Pi Day. Incidentally, Pi Day is observed on the birth anniversary of renowned Physicist Albert Einstein. 

Agreements News 

11.India And Singapore Sign Memorandum Of Understanding On Law And Dispute Resolution 

  • India and Singapore have solidified their cooperation in the realm of law and dispute resolution through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). 
  • The MOU signed by Singapore’s Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, and Second Minister for Law Mr. Edwin Tong SC and India’s Minister for Law and Justice Mr. Arjun Ram Meghwal aims to bolster collaboration in areas such as international commercial dispute resolution. 
  • Its objective is to share best practices, exchange expertise, facilitate capacity-building initiatives and address evolving needs of citizens and businesses through strategic partnership 

12.DEPwD And COA Join Forces To Support Persons With Disabilities 

  • The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) is collaborating with the Council of Architecture to enhance inclusivity and accessibility for Persons with Disabilities in public spaces and buildings. 
  • This partnership signifies a significant advancement in architectural practices and aims to raise awareness about designing environments that accommodate the needs of PwDs. 
  • These initiatives will include integrating essential course modules into the Bachelor of Architecture curriculum to educate future architects about the significance of creating accessible environments for PwDs. 

13.IIT Delhi And Israel Aerospace Industries Join Forces For Applied Research 

  • IIT Delhi recently announced a collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), a significant step in applied research. 
  • This partnership reflects IAI’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) in India, aiming to promote innovation and technological advancement through joint projects, training initiatives, and research consultancy. 
  • Both entities aim to collectively shape India’s technological landscape, in line with IIT Delhi’s dedication to pioneering research. 

14.Study flags mixed implementation of Forest Rights Act 

  • A fact-finding committee formed by Call for Justice, a Delhi-based organization, has found "mixed" implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006 in five States across the country. 
  • The States studied by an eight-member committee, led by Justice S.N. Dhingra (retd), over eight months are Assam, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Karnataka. It 
  • The team assessed two districts in Assam Dima Hasao and Hailakandi and found that the FRA in its current form does not address the unique situation existing in the north eastern States concerning shifting or jhum cultivation. This form of cultivation involving slashing and ral burning plants on hill slopes needs to be recognised as a practice adapted to the ecological and cultural needs of the forest Dwelling communities, the team's status report made public on Thursday said. 
  • In Chhattisgarh, the decision-making process was significantly delayed in Kanker and Korba, the two districts where the team conducted the study. 
  • Delhi-based group Call for Justice says that Jhum cultivation should be recognised in the northeast tion in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli was found to be satisfactory while the process was not completed in Nashik. 
  • The team found "substantial advancement in the implementation of PRA in Kandhamal and Sundar garh districts of Odisha, 
  • However, it was observed that a significant gap existed in the districts between individual forest rights (IPR) and community forest rights (CPR) claims submitted and recognised. 
  • In Karnataka, the team visited Ramnagar and Mysore districts. 
  • According to Ministry of Tribal Affairs data, only 5.17% of the claims filed for IFR were recognised. which showed Karnataka had the highest rate of IFR claims rejection among the States surveyed. 
  • "Overall, there was in-adequate focus on community rights. Various agencies were unclear about the distinction between the two," the report said. 

15.India likely to Start free trade deal talks with EAEU.

  • India is "seriously considering" starting talks for a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Foreign Minister of Belarus Sergei Aleinik declared during his two-day visit to India. The remarks from the Belarusian Minister acquire significance as Belarus has been closely aligned with Russia even as President Vladimir Putin continues to push ahead with the milItary operation against Ukraine since February 2022. "My counterpart confirmed that India is seriously considering starting negotiations on a free trade agreement. Of course, we agreed to maintain contacts on this issue," Mr. Aleinik was quoted as saying by Belta, the state owned news organization. 
  • "We reaffirmed our mutual support for our efforts at the UN. We hold similar views with India on international relations, on the need to build a truly fair system of international relations, a just, multipolar world order, which would be based on the principles of equality of states and the balance of interests of all UN members," Mr. Aleinik said. 

Awards News 

16. Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards 2022-23 Announced 

  • Recently, the President of India conferred the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards for the years 2022 and 2023 to 94 eminent artists (including two joint awards) in the field of performing arts. 
  • These awards recognize and celebrate the exceptional contributions of these artists in enriching India’s cultural heritage through their mastery in various art forms.
  • In addition to the awards, the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna) was bestowed upon 7 eminent artists (one joint fellowship) during the ceremony. 

Books & Authors News 

17.Parshottam Rupala release Book on Sagar Parikrama at Rajkot, Gujarat 

  • Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, Shri Parshottam Rupala, release a book and video titled “Sagar Parikrama” at the Engineering Association in Rajkot, Gujarat. 
  • The book aims to chronicle the Sagar Parikrama Yatra, encompassing diverse elements such as the maritime route, cultural and geographical explorations, and notable impacts from all 12 phases of the journey. 
  • It contains seven chapters covering the genesis of Sagar Parikrama, an overview of the journey along the West and East coasts, and key takeaways. 

18. Union Minister Anurag Thakur released the book titled ‘Israel War Diary’ written by Vishal Pandey.

  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur released the book titled Israel War Diary written by Vishal Pandey at a function in New Delhi on 13 March 2024. Shri Thakur said that every country should avoid war as war is not a solution, dialogue is the only solution. 
  • Shri Thakur also highlighted that this book will inform people about India's stance on the Israel-Hamas war. It will provide a detailed account of the war between Israel and Hamas, he said. 
  • Vishal Pandey is the Chief Special Correspondent of Zee News, claiming over a decade of dedicated journalism. His expertise spans a wide spectrum, including in-depth coverage of Indian Parliament, politics, Ministry of External Affairs and politics of Uttar Pradesh. 
  • Vishal is known for his on-ground reporting, he has covered major international events like Nepal earthquake and Turkey earthquake, Sri Lanka economic crisis, Israel-Hamas war and Taiwan-China crisis. 

Gotabaya Rajapaksa – “The Conspiracy” – Book 

  • Former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa emerged from a long silence and unveiled a book in which he claims that the reason for his removal from office was geopolitical tensions between China and other countries. 
  • Titled The Conspiracy to Oust Me from the Presidency, Rajapaksa's book sold out without any official launch, shedding light on his view of the circumstances of his departure. 
  • He alleged that a major foreign power exerted pressure to ensure his continued tenure, citing his determination to maintain Sri Lanka's alignment with its strategic objectives. 

Ranks & Reports News 

19.A Decade Of Science-Tech Panorama For Aatmanirbhar Bharat” – Report Unveiled 

  • On March 14, 2024, Dr. Jitendra Singh unveiled the report “A Decade of Science – Technology Panorama for Aatmanirbhar Bharat” at Vigyan Bhavan. 
  • The report provides a comprehensive overview of the technological advancements made by various Ministries and Departments of the Government of India over the past decade. 
  • The report also acknowledges the exponential growth of India’s startup ecosystem, reflecting on the journey from a few hundred to over a lakh startups, with the emergence of numerous unicorns across sectors. 

20.India 134th in global human development index: UNDP 

  • India has moved up a rank on the global Human Development Index (HDI), according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report -Breaking the gridlock: Rei- magining cooperation in a polarized world', released on Wednesday. 
  • The report stated that while India ranked 135 in 2021, it had moved up to 134 in 2022. A total of 193 countries were ranked in 2022, and 191 countries in 2021. 
  • India's southern neighbor Sri Lanka has been ranked much ahead at 78, while China is ranked 75, both categorized under the High Human Development category. India also ranks below Bhutan, which stands at 125, and Bangladesh, which is in the 129th position. Switzerland has been ranked number one. 

21.Centre unveils project for cashless treatment of road crash victims 

  • The Road Transport and Highways Ministry on Wednesday announced a pilot project to provide cashless treatment of up to 1.5 lakh to all victims of road accidents. 
  • The pilot project will be undertaken in Chandigarh to establish an "ecosystem for providing timely medical care to the victims of road accidents, including during the golden hour," the Ministry said in a statement. 
  • Victims will be entitled to cashless treatment of up to 1.5 lakh per person for a maximum period of seven days from the date of the accident. 
  • The scheme will be applicable to all victims of road accidents involving a motor vehicle which occurred on any category of road. 
  • The packages for trauma and polytrauma offered under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana will also be co-opted under the scheme. Claims raised by hospitals for providing treatment will be reimbursed from the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund. 
  • The golden hour is the period following an injury during which there is the highest likelihood of preventing death by providing prompt medical care, according to the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, 2019. 
  • The amendment also provided for "a scheme for cashless treatment of road accident victims" as well as a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund. The National Health Authority will be the implementing agency for the programme, and will coordinate with the police, hospitals and the State Health Agency. 

Sports News 

22.Mumbai Wins Ranji Trophy 2024 After Beating Vidarbha 

  • Mumbai won the Ranji Trophy 2024 after beating Vidarbha by 169 runs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Vidarbha, who had won their previous two Ranji Trophy finals, could not replicate their success this time around. 
  • This was their 42nd Ranji Trophy title, showcasing their dominance in Indian domestic cricket. Mumbai ended their 8-year drought by winning the championship after last lifting the title in the 2015-16 season.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post