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


1. Supreme Court abolished prosecution immunity against MPs/MLAs under Articles 105 and 194 respectively 

  • A seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court on March 4, 2024, overturned its 1998 judgment that had allowed MPs to get impunity even after taking bribes to vote or deliver speeches in the House. 
  • The Supreme Court ruled in a 3-2 decision in 1998 that lawmakers who took bribes and voted in the House could not be prosecuted because they enjoyed immunity. 
  • He said that "corruption and bribery by members of legislatures destroy integrity." in public life" and cannot be protected under the principles of parliamentary privilege. 
  • Article 105(2) states that no MP shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or voted in Parliament or any committee thereof. A related provision granting immunity to members of state legislatures is contained under Article 194(2). 
  • A bench led by Chief Justice of India Dhananjay Y Chandrachud announced that Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) will not be immune from prosecution for accepting bribes for making speeches or voting in Parliament and State Assemblies .
  • The bench also included Justices AS Bopanna, MM Sundaresh, PS Narasimha, JB Pardiwala, Sanjay Kumar and Manoj Mishra. 
  • Reading out the unanimous judgment from the bench, the CJI said that individual members of the legislature cannot claim privilege under Articles 105 and 194 for immunity from prosecution on charges of bribery in relation to a vote or speech. 
  • PV Narasimha Rao case of 1998 The court decided to revisit the 1998 judgment in the PV Narasimha Rao vs State (CBI) case, as the judgment was relied upon by former member of the Jharkhand Assembly, Sita Soren of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM). Who had allegedly taken bribe from an independent candidate for voting in the 2012 Rajya Sabha elections. 
  • The 1998 decision came in the backdrop of the JMM bribery scam, which had rocked the PV Narasimha Rao-led Congress government in 1993. The Rao government had allegedly bribed several MPs from different parties to defeat the no-confidence motion. Prosecution may be initiated under the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act. 

2.Union Minister Inaugurates Three CIPET Centers Across India 

  • Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers and Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, virtually inaugurated three centers of the Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering & Technology (CIPET) from New Delhi. 
  • These centers, located in Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh, are significant additions to CIPET’s network. 
  • The government’s efforts to increase the number of CIPET centers from 23 to 47 over the last decade underscore its commitment to supporting the petrochemical industry’s growth. 

3.India’s First Indigenous Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor At Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi marked the beginning of a new era in India’s nuclear energy sector by witnessing the “Core Loading” at the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) in Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu. 
  • This event signifies the near completion of India’s first indigenous PFBR, a landmark project fully designed and constructed within the country by Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI), in collaboration with over 200 Indian industries, including numerous MSMEs. 

4.Geological Survey Of India Celebrates 174th Foundation Day 

  • The Geological Survey of India (GSI) commemorated its 174th Foundation Day on March 4th, 2024, with zeal and enthusiasm resonating across all its offices nationwide. 
  • The event was a grand affair, with celebrations held in Kolkata, the Central Headquarters of GSI, and the Southern Region’s headquarters in Hyderabad. 
  • The 174th Foundation Day celebrations of the Geological Survey of India served as a poignant reminder of the organization’s enduring commitment to advancing geological knowledge and fostering a deeper connection with India’s rich geological heritage. 

5.Real-Life ‘Superheroes’ Fly In The World’s First Jet Suit Race 

  • Dubai witnessed an extraordinary event with the city-state’s inaugural jet suit race. Organized by Gravity Industries in collaboration with the Dubai Sports Council, this groundbreaking competition showcased pilots equipped with jet engines on their hands and backs, resembling real-life ‘Iron Men’. 
  • These remarkable jet suits, boasting an impressive 1,500 horsepower, outmatched the power of many luxury sports cars. Fueled by aviation fuel used by Dubai-based airline Emirates for its commercial aircraft, including Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, the jet suits represented cutting-edge technology in action. 

6.France Pioneers Constitutional Protection For Abortion Rights 

  • In a groundbreaking move, France has made history by becoming the first nation globally to anchor the right to abortion within its constitution. 
  • A special joint session of the French parliament witnessed a robust majority in favor of this constitutional amendment, with 780 votes cast in support and only 72 against. 
  • This pivotal moment led to the inclusion of explicit language in Article 34 of the French Constitution, ensuring women’s freedom to choose abortion under the law. 

7. Mizoram and Nagaland Assemblies pass Centre's proposal to fence India-Myanmar border and repeal FMR 

  • The Nagaland Assembly has unanimously adopted a resolution against the central government's decision to erect fencing along the India-Myanmar border and suspend the Free Movement Regime (FMR) agreement with Myanmar. Nagaland became the second state after Mizoram to oppose the scrapping of FMR. 
  • Under the free movement regime, travel was allowed up to 40 kilometres, which was later reduced to 16 kilometres. These measures will seriously disrupt the age-old historical, social, tribal and economic relations of the Naga people living on both sides of the international border. 
  • The ENPO said the region's tribes, especially the Konyaks, Khiamniungs, Yimkhiungs and Tikhirs, face untold difficulties in moving freely during festivals or in killing loved ones across the border and cultivating what is their only source of livelihood, besides additional problems. 
  • Additionally, the proposal urges the Center to develop rules for cross-border movement in consultation with local residents and involve village council officials in the regulatory process. 
  • The chief ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur have welcomed the Centre's move to end the free movement arrangement with Myanmar, while the decision has been opposed by some organizations in Mizoram and Nagaland. 
  • This is another historic decision towards curbing illegal immigration and strengthening our internal security after the Government of India recently announced fencing of the 1643 km long India-Myanmar border. 

8.DefConnect 2024: Rajnath Singh Launches ADITI Scheme To Boost Defence Innovation 

  • During DefConnect 2024 in New Delhi on March 4, 2024, Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh unveiled the Acing Development of Innovative Technologies with iDEX (ADITI) scheme. 
  • The scheme aims to promote innovations in critical and strategic defence technologies, providing start-ups with significant grants for research and development. 

9. Odisha's age-old jewelery art 'Silver Filigree' gets GI tag 

  • The age-old tradition of silver filigree in Cuttack, Odisha has been given the coveted Geographical Indication (GI) tag. This acceptance serves as an important source of livelihood and increases the popularity of artisan products. 
  • The age-old tradition of silver filigree, known as Chandi Tarakasi of Cuttack. A type of ultra-finely designed art-wire in silver and gold from Cuttack, the oldest city of Odisha. 
  • Odisha State Co-operative Handicrafts Corporation Limited (Utkalika) had filed an application on July 1, 2021, seeking GI tag for the famous silver filigree, classifying it under the 'Handicrafts' category.
  • To show the art's historical connection with the region, the district administration traces its origin to the 13th century. In Oriya, 'Tarkasi' is made up of two words - 'Tara' (string) and 'Kasi' (design). During Durga Puja, artisans from Cuttack also make 'medha' (tableaus) with intricate filigree patterns. 

International Intellectual Property (IP) Index 

  • The US Chamber of Commerce recently unveiled the 12th edition of its International Intellectual Property (IP) Index. 
  • The top countries in the index are United States (95.48%), UK (94.12%), France (93.12%), Germany (92.46%). India ranked 42nd among 55 countries with an overall score of 38.64 percent, which is unchanged from 2022. 
  • The World Intellectual Property Organization-WIPO was established in the year 1967. Its Director General is Darren Tang and it is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. 

10. Museum of 'TU-142M aircraft' of Indian Navy inaugurated in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh 

  • A museum of the iconic retired Indian Navy aircraft TU-142M has been set up in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh. This museum was inaugurated by Kakinada MP Vanga Geeta Vishwanath. This aircraft has served in the Indian Navy for three decades. 
  • Located on the beach, this museum is the third of its kind, joining the category of Visakhapatnam and Kolkata; And this is the second such aircraft museum in the state. It is developed by Kakinada Urban Development Authority with ₹5.89 crore. 
  • Commodore N Sudeep, Eastern Naval Command, who was present at the inauguration, spoke about the remarkable three decade long journey of the naval aircraft. Initially deployed at INS Hansa, Goa and later at INS Rajali, Arakkonam, the aircraft played a vital role as a long range maritime reconnaissance anti-submarine warfare asset for the Indian Navy. 

11. Jyotiraditya Scindia inaugurates country’s 1st Green Hydrogen Plant in Stainless Steel Sector at Haryana 

  • Union Steel Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has virtually inaugurated India’s 1st Green Hydrogen Plant in the Stainless-Steel Sector at Jindal Stainless Limited, Hisar. 
  • This plant will be the world’s first off-grid Green Hydrogen plant for the stainless-steel industry and the world’s first Green Hydrogen plant with rooftop and floating solar. 
  • This project will reduce carbon emissions by around two thousand 700 Metric Tonnes per annum and 54 thousand tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the next two decades. 
  • The National Green Hydrogen Mission was launched last year with an outlay of around twenty thousand crore rupees to make India a Global Hub for the production, usage and export of Green Hydrogen and its derivatives. 

12. Vivek Bharadwaj inaugurates the second PESA Regional Conference at Ranchi 

  • Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj Shri Vivek Bharadwaj has inaugurated the second Two-Day Regional Conference on Strengthening of PESA at Ranchi, Jharkhand. 
  • He emphasized the pivotal role of Gram Sabhas empowered by the PESA Act in addressing social issues, resolving disputes, managing natural resources and fostering economic empowerment efforts in a sustainable manner. 
  • He highlighted that the efficient implementation of the PESA Act will pave the way for strengthening traditional lifestyles and mitigating societal evils. 
  • The upcoming National Conference on PESA aims to consolidate insights from the two editions of Regional Conferences held at Pune and Ranchi, to streamline and accelerate the implementation of the PESA Act based on unanimous consent. 

13. Zoya Akhtar and Asma Khan honored with ‘India-UK Achievers’ Award 

  • Renowned filmmaker Zoya Akhtar and British Indian chef Asma Khan were honored at the annual ‘India-UK Achievers’ awards in London. 
  • Akhtar’s acclaimed work in cinema and Khan’s culinary contributions were celebrated during the event. 
  • Zoya Akhtar was honored with the Living Legend Award for her work in furthering the understanding of India. 
  • Chef Asma Khan of the women-run Darjeeling Express restaurant in London was also honoured. 
  • The alumni of King’s College London started her career in law. But since then, she has made her mark in the field of culinary arts. Asma’s work also includes working as a cookery writer behind bestselling recipe books on Indian cuisine. 
  • The award recognizes the achievements of Indian students and alumni who have undertaken international programmes. 

Recent Awards

  • Maharashtra Bhushan Award 2024 – Dr. Pradeep Mahajan 
  • Honorary Knighthood from King Charles III – Sunil Bharti Mittal 
  • France’s highest civilian honour ‘Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur’ – Shashi Tharoor 
  • Innovative Technology Development Award – REC Ltd 
  • 58th Jnanpith Award 2023 – Urdu poet Gulzar and Sanskrit scholar Jagadguru Rambhadracharya 
  • Best Technology Bank of the Year award by IBA – South Indian Bank (6 categories) 

14. 5 March – Dissociative Identity Disorder Awareness Day 

  • Dissociative Identity Disorder Awareness Day is observed every year on 5 March. 
  • Objective – To raise awareness about the difficulties faced by people with dissociative identity disorder and what we can do to improve their standards of life. 
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as Multiple Personality Disorder, is the condition where a person believes that he/she has multiple people living inside their minds. 
  • Each person has their own likes, dislikes, history and personalities. They are often controlled by multiple personalities and may face difficulties getting on with their normal lives. 
  • Some of the symptoms of dissociative identity disorder are impulsivity, self-destructive behaviour, or self-harm, anxiety, dissociation and mood swings. 
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder Awareness Day, first observed in 2012 by the Ivory Garden, is an annual event dedicated to raising awareness about DID and providing support for those affected by the disorder. 

15. 5 March – International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness 

  • International Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness Day is celebrated every year on 5 March. 
  • The day is celebrated to promote awareness and understanding of disarmament issues, especially among the youth. 
  • The inaugural International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness was observed on March 5, 2023, following a UNGA resolution adopted on December 7, 2022. 
  • This annual event seeks to promote public awareness, particularly among youth, about the importance of disarmament. 

16.CM Yogi Rolls Out ‘MYUVA Scheme’ For Young Entrepreneurs In UP 

  • In Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has launched an initiative to support young entrepreneurs called “Mukhyamantri Yuva Udyami Vikas Abhiyan (MYUVA).” 
  • The scheme offers interest-free loans to young entrepreneurs for projects valued up to Rs 5 lakh. The government aims to prepare one lakh young entrepreneurs every year through this initiative. 
  • The scheme promotes digital transactions in business operations and provides grants to encourage the adoption of digital payment methods. 

17.IIT Madras Hosts Four-Day Long All India Research Scholars’ Summit 2024 

  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) is hosting the All India Research Scholars’ Summit (AIRSS) 2024 from 4th to 7th March 2024. 
  • Organized by the Research Affairs Council of IIT Madras, this event promises to be a gathering of minds from diverse disciplines across India, aiming to showcase and explore the latest advancements in various research domains. 
  • The summit aims to foster collaboration between academia and industry, aligning with the vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and promoting self-reliance through innovation. 

18.Brajesh Mehrotra Appointed As New Chief Secretary Of Bihar 

  • The Bihar government made a significant announcement, appointing senior IAS officer Brajesh Mehrotra as the new chief secretary of the state.
  • Currently serving as the additional chief secretary of revenue and land reforms, with additional responsibilities in general administration and parliamentary affairs, Mehrotra’s illustrious career is marked by dedication and competence. 
  • Notably, he also holds the position of the state’s chief information commissioner, showcasing his multifaceted expertise. 

19.Sub-Inspector Suman Kumari Makes History As BSF’s First Female Sniper 

  • Sub-Inspector Suman Kumari has etched her name in history as the first woman sniper of the Border Security Force (BSF). Suman achieved the prestigious ‘instructor grade’, a testament to her proficiency and expertise. 
  • Her recent completion of an eight-week intensive sniper course at the Central School of Weapons and Tactics (CSWT) in Indore not only showcases her exceptional abilities but also her pioneering spirit. 

20.REC Limited Partners With UNISED To Support Education Of Children In Siddharthnagar, Uttar Pradesh 

  • REC Limited has recently joined hands with the Unit of Science and Educational Development (UNISED) to bolster educational initiatives in Siddharthnagar district, Uttar Pradesh. 
  • Through its Corporate Social Responsibility arm, REC Foundation, REC has pledged a significant financial assistance of Rs. 9.91 crores for the education of approximately 75,500 children in the district. 
  • UNISED, recognized for nationwide educational innovation, will implement solar-powered smart classrooms and joyful learning labs in Siddharthnagar district. 

21.BIMSTEC Faculties Exchange Programme In Dhaka Aims To Boost Mutual Cooperation 

  •  five-day exchange programme for faculty members of foreign service academies within the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) member states has commenced in Dhaka, marking the first of its kind.
  • The programme aims to facilitate dialogue and collaboration among diplomats of BIMSTEC member countries to propose strategies for enhancing mutual cooperation among the region’s Foreign Service training institutions. 

22.Three New Moons Discovered Orbiting Uranus And Neptune 

  • In an exciting development for space exploration, astronomers affiliated with the International Astronomical Union have identified three new moons in the outer reaches of our solar system. 
  • These celestial bodies, with two orbiting Neptune and one around Uranus, were detected through the use of powerful land-based telescopes across the globe. 
  • This discovery increases the count of known moons to 28 for Uranus and 16 for Neptune. Among these, a particularly small moon measuring just five miles in diameter circles Uranus, showcasing the diverse sizes and orbits of these distant moons.

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