Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 19th March 2024

 

National News 

1.India’s First Ayurvedic Cafe Opens in Delhi 

  • The Maharishi Ayurveda Hospital in Shalimar Bagh, Delhi, is making headlines for its in-house restaurant, Soma-The Ayurvedic Kitchen. This restaurant is being hailed as the first Ayurvedic Kitchen in India. At Soma-The Ayurvedic Kitchen, the food is customized according to the visitor’s health. 
  • The menu features dishes like Dumplings and Pav Bhaji, all prepared without onion and garlic. The hospital patients frequently visit this cafĂ© during their treatment, alongside outside visitors. 


2.Centre notifies rules allowing transfer of 'captive' elephants 

  • The Centre has notified a vet of rules called the Captive Elephant Transfer of Transport) Rules, 2004 that hertise the condition Hons under which de may be transferred within or between Sets. 
  • The circumstances under which captive elephants can be transferred are when an owner is no longer in a position to maintain the elephant, the elephant will likely have a better upkeep than in the present circumstances or when a State's Chief wildlife Warden "deems it fit and proper" in the circumstances of the case for between upkeep of the elephant, 
  • Before a transfer within the State, an elephant's health has to be ratified by a veterinarian and the Deputy Conservator of Forests must establish that the animal's current habitat and prospective habitat are suitable. The Chief Wildlife Warden, on receipt of such documents, may reject or approve the transfer. 
  • If the transfer involves moving the elephant outside a State, similar conditions apply. Before a transfer is effected, the "genetic profile" of the elephant has to be registered with the Ministry of Environment, 
  • A vet has to certify that the elephantis fit for travel, states one of the rules. 
  • Odser conditions-ama Without and an elephant assistant should accompany the animal, a health certificate, a quarantine period before the transfer and more-ate are also part of the rules. 
  • Until August 2022, the Wildlife Protection Act explicitly prohibited the trade in wildlife including both wild and captive elephants. However, amendments to the Act brought in an exemption that for the first time allowed captive elephants to be moved. 
  • A Parliamentary Committee, led by Congress Rajya Sabha MP, Jairam Ra mesh, had recommended the deletion of this exemption clause for elephants. The final version of the amended Act, however, retains the clause. 


3.Vaccine for dengue may be out in markets by mid-2026, says IIL 

  • Vaccine for dengue could be available commercially as early as mid-2026. Indian Immunologicals Ltd. (IIL) has finished the first phase of clinical trials to determine the safety of the vaccine, the company's managing director K. Anand Kumar said. The se- cond and third phases of trials to test the vaccine's efficacy are expected to be- gin shortly. IIL is a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board, established in 1982. 
  • "We have completed phase 1 trial, [which is] to determine safety. It was very successful. There have been no adverse reports. We will start phase 2 and 3 trials soon," Dr. Kumar said in an interaction with The Hindu in Chennai over the 
  • Phase 1 trial, to ensure safety, has been completed; phases to test efficacy will start soon past weekend. 
  • The findings of the first phase have already been published in peer-reviewed journals, he said. "We should have completed the trial in December but it was delayed by a few months. We wanted to release it in early 2026 but now, maybe by mid-2026, we will be ready to release the vaccines," he added. 
  • "For dengue, we got the virus strains from the National Institute of Virology. We will release the results of the clinical trials," he explained of the protocol requirements for any such scientific work. 
  • The company is also developing a vaccine for the Zika virus and for the Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD). 
  • The virus, first identified in 1957 in Karnataka's forests, is reported to have infected 400 to 500 people annually since then. Transmission in humans occurs through an infected tick's bite or due to contact with an infected animal, especially a sick or dead monkey. 
  • "The ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) has agreed in principle to help undertake, bear all the cost for clinical trials for the Zika vaccine and we are discussing co developing the vaccine for KFD along with the Council," Dr. Kumar said. 
  • In January this year, the company launched the Hepatitis A vaccine, Havisure. The product has taken off well, Dr. Kumar said. 


International News 

4. Nepalese government declared Pokhara as its tourism capital

  • The Nepalese government has recently declared Pokhara, located in the stunning Gandaki province, as the Himalayan nation's premier tourism capital. The formal announcement took place amid a special gathering at Barahi Ghat, which graces the serene shores of the breathtaking Phewa Lake. 
  • This designation is an important milestone in Pokhara's journey, cementing its position as a leading center for tourism activities. 
  • This recognition not only acknowledges Pokhara's existing appeal, but also sets the stage for further development and promotion of its unique offerings to travelers worldwide. 
  • Businesses such as discos, night clubs and live music venues in Pokhara will have the freedom to operate throughout the night, providing an expanded opportunity for entertainment and leisure. 
  • Pokhara stands as a vibrant tourism hub in Nepal, renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, cultural richness and diverse range of recreational activities. Nestled amidst the majestic Annapurna mountain range and overlooking the tranquil Phewa Lake, Pokhara offers stunning views that mesmerize tourists from all over the world. 
  • Adventure enthusiasts come to Pokhara for thrilling activities like paragliding, zip-lining and whitewater rafting, while peace-seekers can relax amidst the serene surroundings of its lakeside resorts and meditation centres. 


State news 

5. Country's first oil palm processing plant started in Arunachal Pradesh under Mission Palm Oil 

  • Under Mission Palm Oil, the country's first oil palm processing plant has started in Roing in Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh. It has been established by 3F Oil Palm, one of the largest oil palm companies in the country. 
  • This is a state-of-the-art oil palm plant. It has facilities for both palm oil processing and refining. It is a zero waste plant. A waste-based power plant has also been built for this. This is also the first oil palm plant in Arunachal Pradesh. 
  • While inaugurating it virtually, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had described it as a symbol of the beginning of a transformative journey. 3F Oil Palm is also the first oil palm company to provide agricultural inputs to farmers in Arunachal Pradesh. 
  • This initiative represents an important step towards achieving atmanirbharta (self-reliance) in edible oils and empowering farmers. 3F Oil Palm has invested Rs 100 crore in the sector, with plans to invest Rs 1,100 crore by 2030, creating employment opportunities for 1,700 people. 
  • Arunachal Pradesh alone has identified 1,30,000 hectares of suitable land for oil palm cultivation, with the North-East region accounting for 33% (9.6 lakh hectares) of the designated area. However, only 4% of this potential has been utilized for oil palm development. India currently imports 96% of its essential palm oil, which accounts for 67% of the country's edible oil import bill, which is more than Rs 1 lakh crore. 

Palm Oil 

  • It is an edible vegetable oil which is obtained from the mesocarp (red colored pulp) of the palm fruit. It is used as cooking oil and in everything from cosmetics, processed foods, cakes, chocolates, spreads, soaps, shampoos and cleaning products to biofuels. 
  • The use of crude palm-oil in making biodiesel is being branded as 'green diesel'. Indonesia and Malaysia together contribute about 90% of global palm oil production. In the year 2021, India unveiled the National Mission on Edible Oil-Palm Oil to boost its domestic palm oil production. 


6. Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh inaugurates the first National Speed Breeding Crop Facility, “DBT Speedy Seeds” in Punjab 

  • Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurated the first of its kind National Speed Breeding Crop Facility “DBT Speedy Seeds” at the premier National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI) in Mohali, Punjab. 
  • The facility will enhance transformational changes in crop improvement programs by accelerating the development of improved crop varieties that can sustain climate change and contribute to the food and nutritional demand of populations with the implementation of speed breeding crop methods. 
  • The Biotechnology Accelerated Seed Facility will cater to the needs of all states in India but will be particularly useful for North Indian states such as Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Farmers will now get an opportunity to improve their crops qualitatively as well as quantitatively. 
  • DBT Institute of NABI has developed the technology of 'Climate Resilient Crops', using these technologies farmers will not be forced to grow crops in a particular season, rather they will have the freedom to do farming regardless of the climate. 
  • He recalled the success of 'Tulip' cultivation by CSIR Palampur, he also recalled the development of '108 petal lotus' by CSIR Lucknow which won the award in the TV series KBC. 
  • Dr Jitendra Singh also highlighted the fact that under PM Modi “India's bio-economy has grown 13 times in the last 10 years, from $10 billion in 2014 to over $130 billion by 2024 ". 
  • NABI Institute has made significant contributions to 'Atal Jai Anusandhan Biotech (UNaTI) Mission (Nutrition Campaign) and Biotech Farmer Hub. 


7.Spring season 'disappearing in many States, shows study 

  • Indian States have been gradually returning a withdrawal of ly benign weather between the winter of Jammary and the scorching summer of April, a 60-year analysis of meteorological records suppests, 
  • Researchers from the agency Climate Trends calculate the monthly average temperature for 33 Blates and Union Territo Files from 1970 to the present. This was the period during which the impact of global warming has been empirically observed and for which consistent data exist. For each State or Un lon Territory, the rate of warming for each month was compared with each three month meteorological season. For instance, December, Jamary, and February are considered the winter months in meteorological terminology. 
  • Every region analyzed had net warming during winter. Manipur had the biggest change since 1970 (2.3 degrees Celsius), while Delhi jad the smallest (0.2 degree Celsius), "Winter is the fastest warming season for 12 out of the 34 States and territories considered. This is second only to fun, which was the fastest warming season in 13 regions/ the analysts noted 
  • There were significant differences in the pattern of temperature changes during the winter. The southern part of the country had "strong" warming in December and January, Sildim 24 degrees Celal us) and Manipur (21 degrees Celsius) had the lar Post changes Temperature in in December and January, respectively, The northern part of the country had weaker warming and even cooling during December and January, Delhi had the lowest rates during this period (0.2 degree Celsius in De comber, 0.8 degree Celst us in January), and among the states, Ladakh (0.4 degree Celsius in December) and Uttar Pradesh (0.8 degree Celsius in January) had the lowest warming rates. 
  • The pattern changes dramatically between January and February, All regions have warmed in February but the warming is especially pronounced in many of the regions that showed cooling or low warming in the previous months, Jammu and Kashmir had the highest warming 3.1 degrees Celsius) and Telanga na had the lowest (0.4 degrees Celsius), 
  • In northern India, contrast between January trends courting of swarming and February (strong warming) implied that these responses have the potential for abrupt transitions from ol winterlife temperatures to the much warmer conditions that traditionally occurred in March. 
  • The biggest Bump in warming rates occurred in Rajasthan, where the warming in February was 2.6 degrees Celsius higher than in January. A total of nine States and Union Territories showed & January February difference of more than 2 degrees Celsius, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Ladaki, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttarakhand. "This supports the reports that it feels like spring has disappeared in many parts of India, " the report noted. Meteorologists have earlier ascribed the warming of winter in South India and the lack of rainfall in the North in winter due to an aberration in the pattern of Western Disturbances and the jet stream, winds that originate in the Mediterranean and bring moisture to North India during winter. 


Defence News 

8.Indian Army’s New Tech Unit STEAG 

  • The Indian Army has set up a specialized technology unit called Signals Technology Evaluation and Adaptation Group (STEAG) to research and evaluate next-generation communication technologies. 
  • The Indian Army realizes that effective communication is crucial for military operations. The side with better communication technologies and ability to share information will have an advantage over the enemy. 


9.India-US Joint Military Exercise “EX TIGER TRIUMPH 2024” 

  • A joint military exercise called Tiger Triumph-24 between India and the United States started on March 18 and will continue until March 31. 
  • This exercise is taking place on the Eastern Seaboard (East Coast) of India. 
  • The exercise, Tiger Triump-24, is aimed at “developing interoperability” for conducting Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations and “refine Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to enable rapid and smooth coordination between forces of both countries. 
  • Indian Navy Ships with integral helicopters and landing crafts embarked, Indian Navy aircraft, Indian Army personnel and vehicles and Indian Air Force aircraft and helicopters along with the Rapid Action Medical Team (RAMT) would be participating in the exercise. 

Recent Exercise 

  • 10th edition of Military Exercise LAMITIYE-2024 between India and Seychelles – Seychelles 
  • 5th edition of Military Exercise ‘Dharama Guardian’ between India and Japan – Mahajan Field Firing Ranges, Rajasthan 
  • 12th edition of MILAN Naval Exercise – Visakhapatnam 
  • Indian Air Force Conduct Exercise Vayu Shakti-2024 – Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. 
  • 1st edition of Military Exercise – SADA TANSEEQ between India & Saudi Arabia – Rajasthan 


10.Guyana to acquire 2 HAL-Made Dornier 228 Aircraft from India 

  • The Indian defence industry is making forays in the Caribbean with the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) planning to soon acquire two new aircraft from New Delhi with a $23.27 million loan from Export-Import Bank of India. 
  • An agreement in this regard was signed between Guyanese Finance Minister and Deputy GM of EXIM Bank. 
  • Guyana, which has a substantial Indian diaspora, plans to purchase two HAL (Dornier) 228 planes from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. 
  • These aircraft will be used for maritime patrols and troop movement. India has already given these aircraft to its neighbours like Maldives and Sri Lanka. 

About Guyana 

  • Capital – Georgetown 
  • Currency – Guyanese Dollar 
  • Prime Minister- Mark Phillips 
  • President- Mohamed Irfaan Ali 
  • Continent – South America 


11.Indian Army’s New Tech Unit STEAG 

  • The Indian Army has set up a specialized technology unit called Signals Technology Evaluation and Adaptation Group (STEAG) to research and evaluate next-generation communication technologies. 
  • The Indian Army realizes that effective communication is crucial for military operations. The side with better communication technologies and ability to share information will have an advantage over the enemy. 


Appointment News

12.Telangana governor Tamilisai Soundararajan resigns 

  • Tamilisai Soundararajan has resigned from the posts of Governor of Telangana and Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry. 
  • The resignation has been submitted to the Hon’ble President of India. 
  • Tamilisai Soundararajan served as the second governor of the state of Telangana. She assumed the office on September 8, 2019. 
  • In addition to her role as the governor of Telangana, she also served as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry since February 18, 2021. 
  • Prior to becoming the governor, Soundararajan held the position of National Secretary and Tamil Nadu State Unit President of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

About Telangana 

  • Established – 2 June 2014 
  • Capital – Hyderabad 
  • Chief Minister – Revanth Reddy (replace K. Chandrashekar Rao) 
  • Deputy CM – Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka 
  • Speaker of Telangana Assembly – Gaddam Prasad Kumar 
  • Legislative Assembly Seats – 119 


13.Poonawalla Fincorp appoints Arvind Kapil as MD & CEO 

  • Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) Poonawalla Fincorp has appointed Arvind Kapil as Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company. 
  • The current MD & CEO of the company, Abhay Bhutada, has been elevated to a group-level role and will be taking up a strategic position at the Cyrus Poonawalla Group, managing its strategy, investment, and finance. 
  • Currently, Kapil is serving as the group head of mortgage banking business at HDFC Bank and manages a book of over Rs 7 trillion. He also handled the merger of HDFC and HDFC Bank. 

Recent Appointment in Banking & Insurance Sector 

  • President of ‘One Kotak’ – Jaideep Hansraj 
  • Part time Chairman of Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Ltd – Ravindran 
  • MD & CEO of Jana Small Finance Bank – Ajay Kanwal 
  • Chairperson & Independent Director of PayU – Renu Sud Karnad 
  • MD & CEO of SBM Bank India – Ashish Vijayakar (for 3 years) 


Banking News

14. Axis Bank Commits ₹100 Crore to Enhance Cancer Care through National Cancer Grid 

  • In an effort to advance cancer care in India, Axis Bank has pledged a significant contribution of ₹100 crore to the National Cancer Grid (NCG), in collaboration with Tata Memorial Centre. This partnership aims to bolster research, innovation, and digital health adoption in oncology over the next five years. 


15.Awards News T M Krishna Awarded Prestigious Sangita Kalanidhi 

  • Thodur Madabusi Krishna, a renowned Carnatic musician, has been chosen as the Sangita Kalanidhi awardee for 2024. This award, considered the Oscar equivalent for Carnatic music, is given away by the Music Academy in Chennai. Krishna, 48, is known for his powerful voice both as a vocalist on stage and as a social activist off stage. 
  • He received early training in music from Bhagavatula Seetharama Sarma and Chengalpet Ranganathan, both recipients of the Sangita Kala Acharya award (for music teachers) from the Music Academy. 


16. Famous Malayali poet Prabha Verma will receive Saraswati Samman for the year 2023. 

  • Renowned poet Prabha Varma has been selected for the Saraswati Samman for the year 2023 for her work in the Malayalam language. His name has been considered for the award for his Malayalam language poetic work, Roudra Satvikam, and his contribution to literature during the period 2013 to 2022. 
  • Roudra Satvikam is a poetic work in Malayalam language by Prabha Varma which was published in 2022. The novel examines the conflict between power and politics, individual and state, art and power in a unique manner in poetic form. 
  • Tamil writer Sivashankari was awarded the Saraswati Samman 2022 for her memoir (biography) "Surya Vamsam". 
  • The honor includes a citation, a plaque and a prize money of Rs fifteen lakh. Malayalam is getting the country's major literary award Saraswati Samman after 12 years. 
  • The first recipient of this award was Harivansh Rai Bachchan. Malayalam got its first Saraswati Samman in 1995 through Balamani Amma. Poet Ayyappa Panikkar received this award in 2005 and Sugatha Kumari in 2012. 
  • Saraswati Samman, given annually for outstanding literary works in the 22 Indian languages included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, is one of the highest honors in the field of Indian literature. 
  • Apart from Saraswati Samman, Vyas Samman and Bihari Puraskar are other literary awards instituted by the Birla Foundation. 


17. Indian youth Uday Bhatia and Mansi Gupta honored with 'Diana Memorial Award' 

  • On 14 March 2024, India's Uday Bhatia and Mansi Gupta were honored with the prestigious 'Diana Memorial Award'. Along with him, a total of 20 people from all over the world were also honored with this award. 
  • Held every two years, the Diana Legacy Award is a prestigious honor for exceptional young people from around the world for their social work or humanitarian work. The Diana Award charity, established in memory of the late Princess of Wales, is celebrating its 25th anniversary. 
  • Uday Bhatia and Mansi Gupta received the award from Prince William at the awards ceremony at the Science Museum in London. Prince William is the elder son of the late Princess Diana. 

Uday Bhatia 

  • Uday Bhatia is an inventor from Delhi. His company, Uday Electric, which was founded by the 18-yearold, is headquartered in Delhi. Uday's low-cost invention can provide relief from power cuts. 

Mansi Gupta 

  • Mansi Gupta is a mental health campaigner from Haryana. Huesothemind Foundation, founded by Mansi Gupta, is headquartered in Gurugram. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the 24-year-old's mental health services have been appreciated and recognized. 


Important Days

18. International Day of Happiness 2024, Date, History and Significance 

  • The International Day of Happiness is celebrated every year on March 20th. This special day aims to spread awareness about the importance of happiness in our lives. On July 12, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution This resolution declared March 20th as the International Day of Happiness. 


19. French Language Day 2024, Date, History, Theme and Significance 

  • On March 20th, the United Nations celebrates French Language Day. This is one of the six official languages celebrated by the UN each year. French Language Day commemorates March 20, 1970. The date the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) was created. Formed from the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation (ACCT). 


Science and Technology News

19. Scientists Discover A ‘Gigantic’ Volcano On Mars With A Surprising Secret 

  • Researchers have uncovered a monumental discovery on Mars—a colossal volcano named Noctis Volcano. Standing at an impressive 29,600 feet tall and stretching approximately 450 kilometres in width, this massive volcano lies just south of Mars’ equator within the Eastern Noctis Labyrinthus region. 
  • The finding, made possible by data from a suite of missions including NASA’s Mariner 9, Viking Orbiter 1 and 2, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the ESA’s Mars Express, unveils a hidden geological marvel. 


20.VSSC, ISRO develop multi-purpose app SAKHI to assist Gaganyaan crew 

  • The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) facility at Thumba in Thiruvanan thapuram, has developed a multi-purpose app that will help astronauts on the Gaganyaan space flight mission carry out a range of tasks such as looking up vital technical information or communicating with one another. 
  • The Space-borne Assistant and Knowledge Hub for Crew Interaction (SAKHI) will, among other things, monitor the health of the astronauts, help them stay connected with 
  • Earth and even alert them about their dietary schedules. The space facility has successfully tested an engineering model of the custom-built, 


21.Election Commission launches ‘Know Your Candidate’ app 

  • The Election Commission of India, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, has launched a new mobile application called Know Your Candidate (KYC). 
  • This app allows voters to check if any candidate standing for elections in their constituency has a criminal record. 
  • The app is available for download on both Android and iOS platforms. 
  • The KYC app provides voters with the ability to access information about candidates with criminal antecedents. 
  • Candidates are required to disclose their criminal records in newspapers and on television three times. The parties nominating such candidates must explain their selection over other deserving candidates. 

About Election Commissioner of India (ECI) 

  • It is a constitutional body to conduct and regulate elections in the country. 
  • It consists of a chief election commissioner (CEC) and two election commissioners (usually retired IAS or IRS officers) 
  • Founded – 25 January 1950 
  • 25 January – Voter’s Day 
  • HQ – New Delhi 
  • 1st Chief – Sukumar Sen 
  • 1st Women Chief – V.S. Ramadevi 
  • 25th Chief – Rajiv Kumar 
  • Commissioner – Sukhbir Singh Sandhu and Gyanesh Kumar 
  • Tenure – 6/65yrs hand-held smart device featuring SAKHI. 


Ranks & Reports News 

23.Trade puzzle: The uptick in goods exports is heartening, but difficult to sustain 

  • Towards the end of a tumultuous trading year India's goods exports jumped 11.9% year, February, marking the healthiest upin tick in 20 months. The $41.4 billion tally is the highest in 11 months, and only the third occasion in two years that the $40 billion mark has been breached. It is remarkable that this spurt, signifi- cantly higher than the average export tally of $35.4 billion in the first ten months of this year, comes amid persistent concerns about disruptions in the Red Sea and the drought-hit Panama Canal that have throttled vital trading routes and spiked the time and cost of moving consignments. While the last two months' trade numbers suggest that India is yet to feel the full impact of the logistics challenges for servicing key markets in Europe and the Americas, it may be too simplistic a conclusion. It is plausible that some of February's numbers may reflect shipments that were probably dispatched earlier and reached their destinations only last month using longer routes. Economists believe a combination of backlogged orders attaining fruition and demand improvements may be at work. However, with interest rates still high, global demand conditions are yet to demonstrate the rebound the World Trade Organization (WTO) had hoped for in 2024. 
  • The WTO expects global trade to rise 3.3% this year after a 0.8% crawl in 2023. But by its own reckoning, using a gauge called the Goods Trade Barometer, things are yet to perk up. As of March 8, the barometer, where a reading of over 100 reflects above-trend exim volumes, had a reading of just 100.6. The export orders parameter was marginally higher at 101.7 but container shipping slipped to 98.6. Some modest gains in the first quarter of 2024 may be seen owing to the base effects of a weak 2023, but any such gains could be easily derailed by regional conflicts and geopolitical tensions, the WTO has warned. Policymakers may have turned upbeat about surpassing last year's record overall exports (merchandise and services combined), but must not lose sight of the lingering risks and challenges, including the impact of freight hikes on margins. While electronics goods exports have been an outlier in 2023-24's weak exports narrative (-3.5% so far), the WTO's latest barometer reading for electronic components trade has plummeted to 95.6. This is visible in February's numbers as both electronics imports and exports grew just fractionally over 1%. For now, the trade deficit should not be a concern, despite imports jumping at a 17-month high pace last month, led by a spike in inflows of in- creasingly pricey gold. Finding better ways to support exporters, especially in adversely hit employment-intensive sectors such as textiles, and gems and jewelry, remains critical. 


24.Tata Sons announces sale of 0.6% Stake in TCS for over ₹9,300 crore 

  • Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, will be selling 34 crore shares or 0.65 per cent equity of Tata Consultancy Services through a block deal for ₹9,362.3 crore ($1.13 billion). 
  • According to the December-end filing, Tata Sons holds a 72.38 per cent stake in TCS. 
  • Holding companies and promoter entities usually sell stakes in group firms to generate cash to pay down debt and stabilise balance sheets. 
  • Recently, British tobacco company BAT Plc sold a 3.5 per cent stake in its Indian associate ITC Ltd for ₹16,690 crore. This monetisation was done chiefly to buy back its shares and continue its deleveraging exercise. 


Sports News

25.Alcaraz beats Medvedev to win second straight Indian Wells title 

  • Carlos Alcaraz (Spain) defeated Daniil Medvedev (Russia) in straight sets, with a score of 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 in the final of the Indian Wells ATP tournament. 
  • With this win, the 20-year-old Alcaraz became the first player to win back-to-back Indian Wells titles since Novak Djokovic did it from 2014 to 2016. 
  • It was Alcaraz’s first title since Wimbledon last July. 
  • Men’s singles – Carlos Alcaraz 
  • Women’s singles – Iga Swiatek 
  • Men’s Doubles – Wesley Koolhof & Nikola Mektic 
  • Women’s Doubles – Hsieh Su-wei & Elise Mertens 


26. Indian athlete Gulveer Singh broke 16 years old national record in 10000 meter race in California. 

  • Indian athlete Gulveer Singh broke the 16-year-old national record by more than 20 seconds by clocking 27.41.81 at The Ten event in San Juan Capistrano, California. 
  • 25-year-old Gulveer Singh finished second in the men's 10000 meters race. However, the Asian Games bronze medalist failed to qualify for the Paris Olympic Games as he missed the qualification time of 27:00.00 by more than 41 seconds. 
  • The 25-year-old clocked 27.41.81, bettering by more than 20 seconds the previous national mark of 28:02.89, held by Surendra Singh since 2008. 
  • The other Indian, Karthik Kumar, finished ninth in the race with a timing of 28:01.90, which was even better than Surendra's earlier national record. 
  • Avinash Sable, who was competing in the same event, did not complete his heat (DNF) and crashed out of the race at the 6,000 meter mark in the 15th lap.
  • In the women's 10,000 metres, Parul Chaudhary finished a disappointing 20th with a timing of 32:02.08. She also missed the Paris qualification mark, clocking 30:40.00. 

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