Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC -26th February 2024


1.Discovery of temples in Telangana shows spread of Chalukya reign 

  • The distance between Mudimanikyam in Telangana and Badami in Karnataka is nearly 500 km. But a recent discovery shows that the village of Mudimanikyam on the banks of river Krishna was part of the kingdom ruled by Badami Chalukyas. 
  • And long after the demise of the kingdom that ruled the present-day Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the area continued to have a thriving community that prayed to Hindu gods Vishnu and Shiva. While CM One of the temples discovered in Munimanikyam village. 
  • The Jogulamba temples at Alampur and the submerged Yeleswaram sites were the furthest reaches of the Chalukya Badami kingdom; this new information expands the historical extent of that realm. 
  • "We discovered two temples on the river bank and five within the village. We also discovered an inscription that is dated to the rulers of Baciami Chala kyas who ruled between 543 AD and 750 AD," says M. A. Srinivasan, an archaeologist working on the Krishna River basin with S Ashok Kumar of Public Research Institute of History, Archaeology and Heritage. 
  • The temples show Dec can cosmopolitanism where there is space for more than two religions, he explains. "Along with Brahmanical religion, there was space for Buddhism and Jainism," Mr. Sri Nivasan said. 

2.When SC upheld central role of little man in participatory democracy 

  • The Supreme Court, in back-to-back decisions in the electoral bonds and Chandigarh mayoral polls cases, has upheld the cause of "purity of elections" and the central role of the "little man" in participatory democracy. 
  • A Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud held that political funding through electoral bonds tilts the playing field insurmountably in favor of deep-pocketed corporations over the "student or teacher or artist or the office goer" who make small contributions to support a party, which may not necessarily be in power. 
  • "Lobbying and capture give undue importance to big donors and certain interest groups, at the expense of the ordinary citizen, violating the right of equal participation of each citizen in the polity," the Chief Justice observed. 
  • The court said electoral bonds work to strengthen the deep nexus between money and politics in India. The scheme allowed a rich donor to not only influence electoral outcomes but also government policy as part of a quid pro quo arrangement between the contributor and the political party. 
  • The court held that the right to information of a voter about political fundings was superior to the right to privacy of political affiliations in some cases. 
  • "Right to privacy of political affiliations does not extend to contributions which may be made to influence policies. It only extends to contributions made as a genuine form of political support that the disclosure of such information would indicate their political affiliation and curb various forms of political expression and association," the Constitution Bench distinguished. 
  • In the Chandigarh mayoral polls, a three-judge Bench also headed by the Chief Justice held that free and fair elections were a part of the basic structure of the Constitution. 
  • The court said the process of citizens electing councilors, who in turn, elect the Mayor, serves as a channel for ordinary citizens to ventilate their grievances through their representatives both directly and indirectly elected.
  • "Ensuring a free and fair electoral process throughout the electoral process is imperative to maintain the legitimacy of and trust in representative democracy," the apex court underscored. 
  • The court initiated criminal proceedings against the Returning Officer of mayoral polls for tampering with the ballots and declared the Aam Aadmi Party candidate as the new Mayor. The apex court quoted Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer's words in Mohinder Singh Gill v. Chief Election Commissioner that the "little, large Indian shall not be hijacked from the course of free and fair elections by mob muscle or subtile perversion". 

3.IGNCA's 'language atlas' to shine a light on India's linguistic diversity 

  • As India makes efforts towards imparting education in the mother tongue, especially at the primary level, a crucial question remains on the actual number of languages that can be considered to be "active" in the country. 
  • A proposed linguistic survey across the country by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts IGNCA), which aims to enumerate how many languages are spoken and in which States and regions, can provide the answer. 
  • The IGNCA Is an autonomous body under the Un on Culture Ministry. 
  • India recognises 22 languages officially, which are part of Schedule 8 of the dian Constitution. According to Census data, % of the Indian population speaks one of these languages. There are an additional 99 non-scheduled languages Included in the Census, and according to the 2011 Census, around 37.8 million people identify one of these non-Scheduled languages as their mother tongue. 
  • The native language of 1.2 million people remains unaccounted for due to the decision not to include languages with less than 10,000 speakers in the Census since 1971. Many of these languages not recorded in the official Census records are spoken by tribal communities. 
  • Thus, of all the Census surveys, the official Census of 1961 was the most exhaustive and detailed with respect to linguistic data. In this Census, even languages with a single speaker were included in the records. 
  • "There is an urgent need to carry out a comprehensive linguistic survey in order to create the Language Atlas of India," Prof. Gaur, Director and Head of the IGNCA's Kala Nidhi Division and Member of the UNCESCO Global Taskforce on Indigenous Languages, told The Hindu. "After this, the next Census can put a number to the number of people who speak each language or consider them as their mother tongues," added.
  • Experts say it can be a database for future policy decisions. 
  • According to the Detailed Project Report (DPR) prepared by the IGNCA, the stakeholders in the survey would be the Ministries of Culture, Education, Tribal Affairs, Home, Social Justice and Empowerment, and Development of North East Region, apart from various languages communities. 
  • The IGNCA has identified the Central Institute of Indian Languages, the National Museum, Centres for Endangered Languages, and the Linguistic Departments of various universities as potential partners and collaborators in carrying out the survey. 

4. Space is an area that necessitates extensive collaboration 

  • Moon landings are picking up pace for the second time in history, but now with more countries and novel definitions of success in the mix. Chandrayaan-3's soft-landing confirmed that the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) understanding of the technologies and processes involved and the choices it made as an impressive space research and flight provider emerging from colonial shadows are correct. Similarly, the failure of the Luna 25 mission would have taught Russia's Roscosmos something about what it got wrong, particularly as a space agency whose reputation is on the wane after spectacular highs. On February 22, U.S.-based Intuitive Machines (IM) became the first private company to soft-land a robotic craft on the moon. The success of many space service providers in the U.S. is rooted in crucial support from NASA in their formative years. This is true in IM's case as well, but with important distinctions. IM launched its Odysseus lander to the moon as part of NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) programme, through which the agency is funding instruments onboard commercial missions to the moon hoping their findings will ease NASA's eventual return to the natural satellite. IM's Odysseus itself had a rocky last leg of the journey: as its descent got under way, the lander's navigation instruments glitched, forcing IM engineers to quickly cobble together a fix and transmit it to the craft, instructing it to switch to an experimental NASA instrument onboard. After this hotfix, Odysseus appeared to have soft landed, but no confirmation was readily forth-coming due to a weak data link between the craft and antennae on the earth. The next day, IM said Odysseus may have tipped over but without consequence to most of its payloads, including six from NASA, and solar panels. 
  • IM's success testifies to the potential of the CLPS programme and could help extend it in future. NASA's say in CLPS missions is limited to flagging interesting landing sites and providing some payloads. By 2020, it had contracted 14 companies to bid on missions, with its purse size of $2.6 billion. For the devolution of such critical responsibilities to be possible in any country, it needs, as the U.S. possesses, a healthy and diver- sified private space service landscape. This is the value of IM's success within the context of the U.S. space programme. India recently approved up to 100% automatic foreign direct investment in parts of its national space programme, potentially paving the way for healthy competition among Indian start-ups to ease ISRO's burden in future. Space is an area that necessitates extensive collaboration, among nations and within them. 

5.Ahead of Lok Sabha election, Modi launches projects worth ₹48,100 cr. 

  • Facing hills third Lok Sabha election, Prime Minister Varendra Modi chrome Stay launch projects worth 48,300 crore across the financial year 
  • This included the inauguration of five All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in five States and India's longest cable-stayed bridge at Dwarka in Gujarat recalling his long association with Rajjkot, Mr. Modi mentioned that 22 years ago he had taken oath as an MLA on the same day, after being elected from Rajya II Assembly seat. "I have done my best to live up to the trust of the people of Raj hot. I can see that generations have changed but affection for Modli is beyond any age limit," he said in his address 
  • Mr. Modi's trip to Gujarat followed his past pattern of "Vikas aur Virasat (development and heritage. He had, earlier in the day inaugurated the Su darshan Setu, India's longest cable-stayed bridge of around 2.3 km linking Okha mainland to Beyt Dwarka, built at a cost of around 1980 crore. After offering prayers at the Dwarakadheesh temple, be also went underwater in the Arabian Sea, to pay obeisance at the submerged remains of Old Dwarka, which he referred to in his speech. 
  • "In those depths 1 was wondering about the glorious past of India. When I came out, I was carrying the blessings of Bhagwan Krishna as well as the inspiration of Dwarka. This gave new strength and energy to my resolution of 'Vikas aur Virasat. A divine belief has become associated with my goal for Viksit Bharat," he said. 
  • He pointed out that in the past, all major government events used to take place largely in Delhi, but it had been a conscious attempt on his government's part to take such events across the country. "Today's programme is a testament to this effort. Through this single programme, we are continuing a new tradition of development work, inaugurations, and laying of foundation stones in many cities across the country," he said. 
  • He inaugurated AIIMS at Rajkot in Gujarat and e- dedicated four more AIIMS at Bathin da (Punjab), Rae Bareli (Uttar Pradesh), Kalyani (West Bengal), and Mangalagiri (Andhra Pradesh). "For 50 years after Independence, there was only one AIIMS in the country, and that too in Delhi. In the seven decades since Independence, only seven AIIMS were approved but even these were never completed," he said. "But now, in just 10 days, seven new AlIMS have been inaugurated or foundation stones laid. That is why I say we are developing the country at a pace much faster than it had in the past six to seven decades," he said. The projects include 200 healthcare infrastructure works worth ₹11,500 crore across 23 States, and 21 projects of the Employees State Insurance Corporation worth around 2,280 crore. 

6.Poverty levels below 5%, claims NITI Aayog chief 

  • Less than 5% of Indians are now expected to be below the poverty line, and extreme destitution has almost gone away, a top government official asserted on Sunday, citing the findings of the Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) for 2022-23. Retail inflation has also likely been overstated in recent years, he added. 
  • Dismissing the narrative that rural economy is weak and India's growth story is "restricted to a few people", B.V.R. Subrahma nyam, chief executive officer of the Centre's think tank NITI Aayog, averred that growth is "broadbased with rural Indians' incomes and spends rising 
  • Niti Aayog CEO presents his take on consumption trends. Inequality between rural and urban India declining Gini coefficient will drop too. Rural economy is not weak; growth is broad based, not limited to a few faster than their urban peers 
  • The urban-rural consumption divide has not grown to 71% in 2022-23 from a peak of 91% in 2004-05, so inequality is declining, the official said, even as rural households' spending on food has dropped below 50% of total expenditure for the first time. 
  • Share of food spending down sharply; retail Inflation may be overstated 
  • Suggests lower weightage for food in the Consumer Price Index Expects an impact on GDP growth 
  • Lower spends on pulses and cereals which dropped below 5% of per capita consumer expenditure as per the latest survey and higher expenditures on conveyances, consumer durables, and consumer services indicate that people are earning more and need to spend a lesser share of their income on food, Mr. Subrah 
  • "It's not that consumption levels of food are going down in absolute terms, but the relative spending on food is declining, while consumption of products like TV sets, fridges, mobile phones, and cars have Increased. This not only means there is a change in Incomes for the better, but also a change in lifestyles," he said. 
  • "Within food, we see the consumption of beverages, processed food, milk, and fruits is going up, an indication of more diverse and balanced food consumption," he added. 

7.Uttarakhand to table Bill to recover damage to property in protests 

  • The Pushkar Singh Dhami government is set to introduce the Uttarakhand Public and Private Property Damage Recovery Bill during the Budget Session of Assembly that begins on Monday 
  • The Bill provides for recovery of the cost of damage to my public and private property during protests and strikes from those Involved. Similar laws have been enacted In Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. 
  • A senior official involved in the drafting of the Bill said a tribunal, headed by a retired judge, would invest and Mitigate the charges against the accused. It would handle assessments and orders for damage recovery after detailed discussions with the affected parties. 
  • "Those guilty of causing riots and other disturbances will be liable to pay compensation under this Bill '' the official said. 
  • Haldwani unrest The Bill is likely to be discussed by the Business Advisory Committee over the next two-three days, Later, it will be tabled in the Assembly, sources in the government said. After the Bill is passed, it will be forwarded for the Governor's consent. 
  • The decision to have a Bill to recover damages to public property came after the violence in Haldwani in Uttarakhand earlier this month, which left at least five persons dead and over 100 Injured. Violence ensued after the district administration and civic body, as part of an anti-encroach ment drive, demolished a mosque and madrasa built on narool (government) land. 

8.Declining food spends likely to turn spotlight on development.

  • Caon is expected so crend down, creating more room for monetary and focal policy to focus the latest Household Consumption Expenditure Survey face, which shows a les proportion of food spends for both marad and consumers is med to rejig the Consumer Price Index (CPU) 
  • The CPI, which is currently based on the 2011-12 consumption spending say, signs a weightage of almost 54.2% for rural sumers' food and bey rages expenditure and 36.3% for urban consumers, with the combined weightage for such expenses by all households at nearly 46%. As per the HCES find ings for 2022-23, rural spending on food and beverages has dropped to 46.4% from 52.9% in 2011 12, while urban peers spent 39.2% of their overall monthly outgoes on food compared to 42.6%b cured 11 years earber. 
  • I think this will have se rious implications. There will have to be a complete recast of the CPI that the National Statistical Office food, while core inflation is down remarked NITI Azyug CEO Subrahmanyam 
  • That's what the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also keeps saying that food inflation is spiking. sometimes in onions, sometimes in vegetables, sometimes in pulses. Sud- denly, if their share shrinks, your inflation will also probably go down and my suspicion is our india tion is over-reported," he noted. In January, core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, is estimated to have hit a record low of 3.7% in the current CPI data series which uses 2012 as a base year. However, food infla rion stood at 8.3%, while food and beverages together 
  • Mr stressed that rebalancing the CPI, with a lower share of food and cereals, will possibly lead to a reduction in retail inflation which will affect the RBI, which sets interest rates based on retail inflation trends. Economists broadly agreed with Mr. Subrah manyam's prognosis. 
  •  "Lower weights for food will tend to have a bias on core inflation and reveal lower headline inflation for sure. These weights need to be carefully assessed and ratified over a period of time. Hence, the choice of the base year is important," Bank of Baroda chief economist Madan Sabnavis told The Hindu, adding that lower retail inflation would give the central bank room to focus on growth. GDP math effects 
  • Coming after a 11-year hiatus, the latest HCES findings based on surveys conducted between August 2022 and July 2023, shall feed into a possible review of the CPI. However, the government is likely to wait for the results of a fresh HCES that began last August and will be completed this July, before pursuing the CPI reset. An official said that the ongoing survey would confirm whether the 2022-23 Survey's findings are robust and realistic. 
  • The NITI Aayog CEO said this would happen in due course and could also affect the calculation of the economy's output in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) terms, because the defla- tors would change. "Sup pose GDP was 330, and you deflated it by 10%, it would be 300. But if you deflate it by 8%, the GDP would be higher. I think all these things will happen," he said. 
  • An economist who didn't want to be identified said one will have to wait for the complete findings of the latest HCES to ascertain the extent of changes in consumption patternS and the impact on inflation rates will depend on when the government opts to change the CPI base and weightages 

9.Railways brings down the curtain on 'passenger trains’ 

  • The era of passenger trains seems 10 have come to an end with the Indian Rail ways redesignating them as express specials'. The 'second class ordinary fare meant for passenger trains has been dispensed with and commuters traveling in the express specials are charged express fares which are almost double the earlier rates. 
  • According to railway sources, the passenger trains are being operated as express specials with the same old rakes and on the same routes and stoppages. While in the Chennai Division, the passenger trains have been replaced with Mainline Electric Mul- tiple Units (MEMU), some pairs of trains in Trichy and Madurai divisions are operating Diesel Electric Multiple Units (DEMUS). 
  • Passenger trains which stop at almost all the stations are patronized by poor passengers, especially small vendors, farm workers and daily wage laborers among others, as the fares are the cheapest In railway network. But the express specials are now AMCH Chennai Central, one of the busiest railway stations in the try, booking clerks said ordinary fare structure was no longer applicable to suburban trains; the fares had doubled in some routes. For instance, the cost of traveling from Chennal to Tirupati on a passenger or DEMU train was 235 before the COVID-19, pandemic. But after the COVID lockdown, the fare increased to 270. Similarly, the cost of tickets from Chennai Beach to Vellore and Chennai Egmore to Puducherry, which was ₹30 and 245, has increased to 765 and ₹80, respectively, the sources said. 
  • Asked whether the betting exchange ran on par with express trains, speed of the passenger trains had increased . rating levying of express rantin senior railway offi councils said the ordinary fare the structure was dependent on the classification of the train whether it was a passenger or express train. "The railways have dispensed with second class ordinary fare applicable to passenger trains post the Pandemic. There are no more passenger trains." 
  • Fare chart However, the Southern Railway has displayed a fare chart at the booking counters, which still shows the pre-pandemic tariff or second-class ordinary fare structure is no longer valid. "On several occasions, the traveling public cite the fare displayed on the board and argue with us as to why they have to pay double the price. They are not aware or willing to understand that passenger trains don't exist any more. There are many complaints that the UTS App is also showing the old fares, a ticket booking clerk said. Following complaints, 
  • At the MGR Chenrial Central station, booking clerks said the ordinary fare structure was no longer applicable to suburban trains; the South Western Railway restored the pre COVID fare structure in its zone. In an order issued on Pe bruary 22, the Principal Chief Commercial Manager instructed authorities in Hubballi, Bengaluru and Mysore that all MEMU/DE pe MU and passenger trains stopping at all stations, en route from originating point to destination, should be charged with second class ordinary passenger fare as it was done during the pre-COVID period with immediate effect, the sources said. 
  • Senior officials said the slow-moving trains were still called passenger trains on record but operated as express specials with enhanced fares. "In the daily punctuality reports of divisions, we still call them as passenger trains only," an official sald. 

10.PM Modi Inaugurates 5 AIIMS Facilities 

  • In a significant stride towards bolstering India’s healthcare infrastructure and services, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated Five All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to the nation. 
  • The AIIMS facilities located in Rajkot (Gujarat), Bathinda (Punjab), Raebareli (Uttar Pradesh), Kalyani (West Bengal), and Mangalagiri (Andhra Pradesh) mark a pivotal moment in the country’s journey towards enhancing tertiary healthcare access and quality.
  •  The inauguration of five AIIMS facilities and the launch of numerous healthcare projects symbolize a monumental step towards realizing India’s vision of accessible and quality healthcare for all. 

11. President Murmu To Launch ‘Purple Fest’ For Disabled 

  • The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is set to host a day-long celebration of inclusivity at Amrit Udyaan in the Rashtrapati Bhawan on 26th February, 2024. 
  • The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu, will inaugurate the Purple Fest event, emphasizing the nation’s commitment to inclusivity and empowerment. 
  • The Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya National Institute for Persons with Physical Disabilities spearheads the organization of this monumental event, underscoring its significance in promoting disability rights and inclusion. 

12. PM Launches Ayush Projects In Jhajjar & Pune 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently inaugurated two institutes of the Union Ministry of Ayush, marking a significant step forward in the promotion of healthcare across the nation. 
  • The inauguration ceremony, held virtually, saw the unveiling of the ‘Central Research Institute of Yoga & Naturopathy’ (CRIYN) in Jhajjar, Haryana, and the National Institute of Naturopathy (NIN) titled ‘NISARG GRAM’ in Pune, Maharashtra. 
  • With their comprehensive infrastructure and educational programs, these institutes are poised to empower individuals to prioritize their health and well-being. 

13. Vietnam’s National Hydrogen Strategy: Targets 500,000T Of Clean H2 By 2030 .

  • Vietnam has set forth an ambitious national hydrogen strategy, aiming to become a significant player in the global hydrogen market. 
  • With targets ranging from 100,000 to 500,000 tons of clean hydrogen production annually by 2030, escalating to 10-20 million tons by 2050, the strategy seeks to leverage both green and blue hydrogen production methods.
  • It prioritize renewable energy-driven hydrogen production while integrating carbon-capture techniques for traditional energy sources. 

14. Central University Of Bihar (CUSB) Achieves Category-1 Status From UGC 

  • Recently, the Central University of Bihar (CUSB) achieved a significant milestone as the University Grants Commission (UGC) granted it Category-1 status. 
  • This status streamlines administrative processes, exempts the university from routine inspections, and makes it eligible for research grants. 
  • Moreover, it enables CUSB to introduce new courses, programs, schools, or centers within its existing academic framework without seeking prior approval. 

15. Anurag Singh Thakur To Set Up Film Certification Facilitation Office In Chandigarh 

  • Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, revealed plans for a new office of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in Chandigarh. 
  • Shri Thakur highlighted that filmmakers in the region will now have access to screening their films and submitting necessary edits or changes without the need to travel to Delhi or Mumbai. This decision is expected to benefit the Punjabi film industry significantly. 
  • The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) operates as a statutory body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

16.World NGO Day 2024 

  • Every year on February 27th, the world comes together to celebrate World NGO Day, a day dedicated to recognizing and honouring the invaluable contributions of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). 
  • These organizations, driven by a passion for positive change, play a crucial role in addressing some of humanity’s most pressing challenges. 
  • The theme for World NGO Day 2024 is “Building a Sustainable Future: The Role of NGOs in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” 

17.Per Capita Monthly Household Consumer Spending More Than Doubled During 2011-12 To 2022-23: HCES Report 

  • The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) has released findings from the Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) conducted from August 2022 to July 2023. 
  • This survey aimed to assess the Household Monthly Per Capita Consumption Expenditure (MPCE) across various demographics, spanning rural and urban sectors, states, union territories, and socio-economic groups. 
  • Per capita monthly household consumption expenditure more than doubled from 2011-12 to 2022-23. Average rural spending increased to ₹3,773 from ₹1,430, while urban spending rose to ₹6,459 from ₹2,630. 

18. Army Clinches Khelo India Winter Games 2024 Title On Final Day 

  • The Khelo India Winter Games 2024 concluded in Gulmarg, with the Army emerging victorious after a thrilling final day of competition. 
  • Alpine skier Bobby Pandey’s gold medal in the parallel slalom event proved decisive, propelling Army to the top of the medal table with 10 gold medals. 
  • This narrow margin placed them one gold ahead of Karnataka (9 gold) and three ahead of Maharashtra (7 gold), who had led after the first round in Ladakh. 

19. Vimarsh 2023 5G Hackathon 

  • The Vimarsh 2023 5G Hackathon is a collaborative effort between Telecom Centres of Excellence India under the Department of Telecommunications and the Bureau of Police Research and Development, Ministry of Home Affairs. 
  • The Vimarsh 2023 5G Hackathon aimed to revolutionize Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) operations. This initiative sought to explore groundbreaking solutions and promote innovation within the law enforcement domain. 
  • Vimarsh 2023 endeavors to devise India-tailored scenarios for Law Enforcement Agencies leveraging the potentials of 5G and beyond. 

20. Renowned Filmmaker Kumar Shahani Passes Away At 83 

  • The Indian film industry is mourning the loss of acclaimed director Kumar Shahani, who passed away at the age of 83 in Kolkata on Saturday. 
  • Shahani, born in Larkana, Sindh (present-day Pakistan) in 1940, was a pioneering figure in Indian parallel cinema. He carved a distinct path with his thought-provoking and socially conscious films, earning him recognition as a leading voice in independent cinema. 

21. Legendary Ghazal Singer Pankaj Udhas Passes Away 

  • The music world mourns the passing of legendary ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas, who died at the age of 72 after a prolonged illness. Udhas was Born in Jetpur, Gujarat, in 1951. 
  • Udhas’ initial career involved Bollywood playback singing and even exploring Indian pop. However, his true passion lay in ghazals, a form of Urdu poetry set to music. 
  • In 1980, he released his debut ghazal album, “Aahat,” marking the beginning of a remarkable career that would span over 40 years. 

22. Haryana govt launched ‘Savera’ programme 

  • Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has inaugurated the Savera programme — aimed at early detection and prevention of breast cancer. 
  • It was initiated by the Medanta Foundation in collaboration with the Health Department in Gurgaon. 
  • Under the scheme, visually impaired people will conduct screening for breast cancer. 
  • The importance of this ability has been understood, tested, and used by people associated with the medical world. 
  • Breast cancer is one of the cancer types that mainly occurs in women residing in cities. He said that about 90,000 women across the country lose their lives due to breast cancer, on a daily basis. 

About Haryana 

  • Capital – Chandigarh 
  • Chief Minister – Manohar Lal Khattar 
  • Governor – Bandaru Dattatreya 

23. Recent Schemes launched by state governments 

  • Van Mitra (Haryana) – To encourage community participation in tree planting activities in non-forest areas. 
  • Swayam Scheme (Odisha) – To provide interest-free loans up to Rs 1 lakh to youth of the state 
  • CM Vayoshree Yojana (Maharashtra) – For senior citizens who suffer from some physical or mental disability 
  • Mahtari Vandan Yojana (Chhattisgarh) – To provide Rs 1,000 financial assistance for married women. 
  • Yuva Nidhi Scheme (Karnataka) – To provide aid for Jobless Youth 
  • Yogyasree Scheme (West Bengal) – To provide free training modules for SC & ST Students 

24.Tatung Padi appointed as Director in Skill Development Ministry 

  • Tatung Padi has been appointed as Director in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. 
  • Padi has been appointed to the post under the Central Staffing Scheme for a period of five years from the date of taking over charge of the post until further orders. 
  • Padi is an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer of 2009-batch. He was recommended for the Central deputation by the Department of Revenue. 

Recent Appointment 

  • Punjab ‘state icon’ for Lok Sabha polls – Shubman Gill (Campaign – Is Vaar 70 Paar) 
  • Speaker of Bihar Legislative Assembly – Nand Kishore Yadav 
  • MD of Boeing Defence India – Nikhil Joshi 
  • CMD of IRCTC – Sanjay Kumar Jain 
  • President of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) – Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal (72nd) 
  • Bhupinder Kumar (IAS) for the post of Director of Census Operations (DCO)/Director of Citizen Registration (DCR) (Deputy Secretary level) of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. 
  • The Central Government has approved the appointment of Kumar has been appointed to the post under the Central Staffing Scheme on additional charge basis with effect from the date of taking over charge of the post and for a period up to December 31, 2025 or until further orders, whichever is earlier. 
  • Kumar is a 2011-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of AGMUT cadre. 

25. Geeta Batra is 1st Woman Director of World Bank Body 

  • Geeta Batra, an India-born economist, has been named as the new Director of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the World Bank’s Global Environment Facility (GEF). 
  • This appointment marks a significant milestone, as Batra becomes the first woman from a developing country to assume this prestigious role. 
  • Batra, 57, is currently the chief evaluator and deputy director for evaluation at the GEF IEO, affiliated to the World Bank. 
  • Batra’s name was unanimously recommended for the coveted position at the 66th GEF council meeting held in Washington. 
  • Born in New Delhi, Batra studied at the Villa Theresa High School (1984) in Mumbai, then completed her Economics from the Stella Maris College, Chennai (1984-1987), followed by an MBA in Finance from the NMIMS, Vile Parle (1990) in Mumbai. 

Recent Appointment in Foreign 

  • Country Director for India in ADB – Mio Oka (replace Takeo Konishi) 
  • US Representative on WHO Board – Vivek Murthy 
  • Secretary General of BIMSTEC – Indra Mani Pandey (replace Tenzin Lekphell Bhutan) 
  • ‘Class C’ Director on Board of Directors of Federal Reserve Bank of New York – Rajiv Shah 
  • Executive Director of Asian Development Bank (ADB) – Vikas Sheel (for 3 years) 
  • Adviser to the Executive Director of ADB – Smita Sarangi Books 

26.The Great Flap of 1942 authored by M Padmanabhan 

  • The book titled “The Great Flap of 1942: How the Raj Panicked over a Japanese Non-invasion” was authored by Mukund Padmanabhan. 
  • It is published by Vintage Books. 

Recent Books 

  • 50 Memories from Fifty of Service – Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (PM of UAE) 
  • Al and National Security – CDS Anil Chauhan 
  • 9 Incredible Years of Haryana Government: Emergence of a New and Vibrant Haryana – Released by VP Jagdeep Dhankhar 
  • 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) 

27. FATF excluded UAE, Uganda, Barbados and Gibraltar from its monitoring list. 

  • The United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Barbados and Gibraltar have been removed from the 'grey list' of countries deemed susceptible to illicit financial activities by leading global watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF). 
  • The decision marks a significant victory for the UAE, potentially enhancing its global reputation and credibility. The FATF, which includes countries ranging from the United States to China, has designated the UAE for close monitoring in 2022 due to concerns over money laundering and terrorist financing activities linked to various sectors such as banking, precious metals and real estate. 
  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Watchlist, also known as the "Grey List", is a roster of countries that the FATF considers to have deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) regimes. 
  • Countries placed on the FATF watch list face increased scrutiny and pressure to improve their AML/CFT frameworks. Being on a watch list can have a significant impact on a country's financial reputation and its ability to engage in international financial transactions. 

28. Financial Action Task Force: 

  • FATF is the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog which was established in 1989 at the meeting of G-7 countries held in Paris. Its objective was to investigate and develop measures to combat money laundering. 
  • In 2001, the FATF expanded its mandate to include efforts to combat terrorist financing following the 9/11 attacks on the United States. In April 2012 it added efforts to counter the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). 
  • India joined the list of 'observer' countries in 2006 and became a full member of FATF in 2010. Its secretariat is based at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) headquarters in Paris. Iran, North Korea and Myanmar are three countries blacklisted. 

29. India-Japan joint exercise 'Dharma Guardian' started in Rajasthan 

  • The 5th edition of joint military exercise 'Dharma Guardian' between the Indian Army and Japan Ground Self Defense Force began at Mahajan Field Firing Range in Rajasthan from 25 February to 9 March 2024. 
  • Exercise 'Dharma Guardian' is an annual exercise and is conducted alternately in India and Japan. The contingents from both sides include 40-40 soldiers. The Japanese contingent is being represented by soldiers of the 34th Infantry Regiment and the Indian Army contingent is being represented by a battalion of the Rajputana Rifles. 
  • The objective of the exercise is to promote military cooperation and enhance joint capabilities to conduct joint operations in semiurban environments under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. The exercise will focus on high level physical fitness, joint planning, joint tactical exercises and fundamentals of special weapons skills. 
  • The tactical drills to be carried out during the exercise will include setting up of a temporary operating base, creating an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) grid, setting up mobile vehicle check posts, carrying out cordon and search operations in a hostile village, heliborne operations and house interventions. 
  • An arms and equipment display showcasing the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' initiative and the country's growing defense industrial capability will also be organised. 
  • The defense forces of India and Japan also conduct various bilateral exercises such as: 
  • JIMEX (Navy), Malabar Exercise (Naval Exercise), 'Veer Guardian' and Shinyu Maitri (Air Force), and Dharma Guardian (Army). 

30. SECI unveils India's largest solar-battery project in Chhattisgarh 

  • Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI), under the aegis of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, has successfully commissioned India's largest Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) at Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, which stores energy using solar energy. 
  • 40 megawatt (MW) / 120 MW BESS with solar photovoltaic (PV) plant with installed capacity of 152.325 megawatt hour (MW) and dispatch capacity of 100 MW AC (155.02 MW peak DC). 
  • The project has deployed bifacial modules, which reflect light from the ground, thus generating more power than monofacial modules. The project has been constructed with financing received from the World Bank and the Clean Technology Fund. 
  • Through a tripartite land use permission agreement between the Energy Department of the Government of Chhattisgarh, Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Company Limited (CSPDCL) and SECI, 451 acres of barren land in 9 villages of Tehsil Dongargarh and Dongargaon, District Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, was reclaimed.

31. First Solar Project of NTPC Renewable Energy Limited 

  • The first solar project of NTPC Renewable Energy Limited (NTPCREL) at Chhattargarh, Rajasthan has announced the commencement of commercial operations of 70 MW capacity on February 21, 2024. With this, NTPC Group's installed capacity reaches 73,958 MW and renewable energy operating capacity reaches 3,448 MW. 
  • Chhattargarh Solar Project has a scheduled full capacity of 150 MW and is expected to be operational by March 2024. This capacity was achieved under SECI-Tranche:III. 
  • The project is designed to generate 370 million units of energy per year, enough to power 60,000 homes, while also saving 3 lakh tonnes of CO2 emissions and conserving 1,000 MMTPA of water every year. 

31. Lara Super Thermal Power Station 

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated Stage-I (2x800 MW) of NTPC's Lara Super Thermal Power Station in Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh and laid the foundation stone of Stage-II (2x800 MW) of the project through video conferencing on 24 February 2024. 
  • While 50% power from both Stage-I and II is allocated to the state of Chhattisgarh, the project will be instrumental in improving the power scenario in many other states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. 

32. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the country's longest cable-bridge 'Sudarshan Setu' in Gujarat. 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Sudarshan Setu, the country's longest cable-stayed bridge connecting Okha mainland to Bet Dwarka on the Arabian Sea, on 25 February 2024. The length of this bridge is 2.32 kilometers. 
  • Earlier, the Prime Minister offered prayers at Lord Krishna Temple in Bet Dwarka. After this the Prime Minister inaugurated the four-lane cable-bridge Sudarshan Setu. On both sides of this bridge, verses from Srimad Bhagavad Gita and pictures of Lord Krishna are engraved. 
  • The construction cost of this bridge is Rs 979 crore, which includes a 900 meter central double span cablestayed section and a 2.45 kilometer long approach road. It said the four-lane 27.20 meter wide bridge has 2.50 meter wide footpaths on both sides. 
  • Bet Dwarka is an island located near Okha port. It is about 30 kilometers from Dwarka city and the famous Dwarkadhish temple of Lord Krishna is located here. At present devotees reach Bet Dwarka by boat for darshan, but now after the construction of the bridge, devotees will be able to travel all the time. 
  • The bridge, which was known as 'Signature Bridge' and was commissioned by the Center in 2017, has been renamed as 'Sudarshan Setu' or Sudarshan Bridge. 

Longest bridge in india 

  1. Dhola Sadiya Bridge, Lohit River, 9.15 km, Assam, 2017 
  2. Dibang River Bridge, Dibang River, 6.2 km, Arunachal Pradesh, 2018 
  3. Mahatma Gandhi Setu, Ganga River, 5.75 km, Bihar 1982 
  4. Bandra-Worli Sea Link, Mahim Bay, 5.57 km, Mumbai, Maharashtra, 2009 

33. Five new AIIMS 

  • The Prime Minister has inaugurated five new All India Institute of Medical Sciences-AIIMS at a public meeting in Rajkot. These five AIIMS have been constructed at Rajkot in Gujarat, Bathinda in Punjab, Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh, Kalyani in West Bengal and Mangalagiri in Andhra Pradesh. 
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi also inaugurated two institutes of the Ministry of AYUSH on 25 February 2024. National Institute of Naturopathy (NIN) named 'NISARG GRAM' at Pune, Maharashtra and 'Central Yoga and Naturopathy Research Institute' (CRIYN) at Jhajjar, Haryana. 
  • NISARG GRAM is a 250 bedded hospital with a multidisciplinary research and extension service center as well as a Naturopathy Medical College for Under Graduate (UG) / Post Graduate (PG) / Para Medical courses. The total cost of this 25-acre project is Rs 213.55 crore. 
  • 'Central Yoga and Naturopathy Research Institute, Jhajjar (Haryana)' built under the aegis of the Ministry of AYUSH, is a top level Yoga and Naturopathy research and education facility. This 19-acre project has been built at a cost of Rs 63.88 crore. 

34. PM Modi dedicated two hybrid electric catamaran Vessels ‘MV Guh and MV Nishadraj’ to the nation in Uttar Pradesh. 

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation two hybrid electric catamaran vessels – MV Guh and MV Nishadraj, built by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh to promote clean energy and responsible tourism. 
  • MV Guh will sail on the Saryu river in Ayodhya and MV Nishadraj on the Ganga river in Varanasi. These state-of-the-art Vessels, with a seating capacity of 50 passengers, are powered by fast-charging batteries and are designed to reduce 400 metric tons of carbon emissions annually. 
  • The Green Boats-Inland Vessels Green Transition Guidelines, published on 8 January 2024, aims to lead to a transition to green and clean fuels. It aims to adopt low/zero emission sources of fuel and achieve 100% green ships in Indian waters by 2047. 
  • Along with this, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated four community ghats on the ghats of Varanasi and laid the foundation stone of 13 community ghats along National Waterway 1 (NW1) in Varanasi and National Waterway 110 in Mathura and Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh. 
  • In addition, a Quick Pontoon Opening Mechanism System (QPOMS) was also inaugurated. Establishment of QPOM will help in cutting the overall logistics cost and reducing lead time from six hours to 30 minutes. 

35. Gujarat Solar Power Plant 

  • SJVN Limited, a Mini Ratna, Category-I and Schedule 'A' Central Public Sector Enterprise under the administrative control of Ministry of Power, Government of India, announced the commencement of successful commercial operation of its 50 MW Gujrai Solar Power Station at Kanpur Dehat, Uttar Pradesh on February 23, 2024. 
  • The total installed power capacity of SJVN now stands at 2,277 MW. Gujrai Solar Power Station was completed at a cost of Rs 281 crore. The project is expected to generate annual revenue of approximately Rs 32 crore. 
  • The station will produce 107 million units of energy in its first year, with cumulative energy production projected to reach 2,477 million units over 25 years.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post