Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 4th April 2024

National News 

1.Adani Green Energy becomes first company in India to surpass 10,000 MW renewable energy capacity 

  • Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL), India’s largest and one of the world’s leading renewable energy (RE) companies, has surpassed 10,000 megawatts (MW) of operational portfolio, delivering reliable, affordable, and clean power to the national grid. 
  • AGEL’s operational portfolio consists of 7,393 MW solar, 1,401 MW wind and 2,140 MW wind-solar hybrid capacity. 
  • The milestone is a testament to AGEL and its development partners firmly moving towards the goal of 45,000 MW renewable energy by 2030. 
  • AGEL’s 10,934 MW operational portfolio will power more than 5.8 million homes and avoid about 21 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. 
  • AGEL is developing the world’s largest renewable energy project of 30,000 MW on barren land at Khavda in Kutch, Gujarat. Built across 538 sq km, it is five times the size of Paris and almost as large as Mumbai city. 

Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL) 

  • Founded – 2015 
  • Headquarters – Ahmedabad, Gujarat 
  • MD & CEO – Vneet Jain 

2.India to build first commercial crude oil strategic storage 

  • India plans to build its first privately managed strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) by 2029-30, granting the operator the freedom to trade all of the stored oil. 
  • Allowing a fully commercial SPR mirrors the model adopted by countries such as Japan and South Korea, which allow private lessees, mostly oil majors, to trade the crude. 
  • So far, India has allowed only partial commercialization for its three existing SPRs in southern India, which have a combined capacity of 36.7 million barrels. 
  • India plans to build two new SPRs – the first a 18.3 million barrels cavern at Padur in southern Karnataka state, and then a 29.3 million barrels SPR in eastern Odisha state – with private partners allowed to trade all of the oil locally. 
  • PRL estimates the Padur SPR and linked pipeline and oil import facility would cost about 55 billion rupees ($659 million), with the federal government providing up to 60 per cent of the total. 

3.India rejects report on abusive conditions at shrimp hatcheries 

  • India, the biggest supplier of shrimp, USA's favorite seafood, has strongly refuted allegations of human rights and environmental abuses raised by a Chicago Based human rights group. Top Commerce Ministry officials will meet seafood exporters on Thursday to discuss efforts to scotch such attempts at maligning its global reputation. 
  • In 2022-23, India's sea-food exports stood at $8.09 billion, or ₹64,000 crore, and shrimps accounted for a bulk of these exports at $5.6 billion. India has emerged as one of the world's largest shrimp exporters and its share in the U.S. market has risen from 21%, or $1.3 billion, to 40% in 2022-23, with shipments worth $2.4 billion, far ahead of rivals such as Thailand, China, Vietnam, and Ecuador. 
  • Terming a report from Corporate Accountability Lab (CAL) that alleges "dangerous and abusive" working conditions in some shrimp hatcheries, growing ponds, and peeling sheds, as baseless, a senior official asserted that the entire value chain for India's shrimp exports is certified by the Marine Products Export Development Authority and there is no scope for such concerns about overseas shipments. "This seems to be driven by vested interests aimed at maligning the reputation of our aquaculture sector and its products in global markets," he noted. 
  • About a lakh shrimp farms in Andhra Pradesh alone account for almost 70% of India's shrimp output. Women are reckoned to account for 70% of the eight million-odd jobs in the sector, including two lakh in hatcheries and aquaculture farms, and the rest in processing and freezing units. 
  • The Ministry is likely to advise exporters to commission independent studies on the working conditions at shrimp farms to dispel the concerns in major markets like the U.S. and the EU. 
  • It has also asked the Andhra Pradesh government to look into the allegations made in the CAL report. 

4. ‘One vehicle, one Fastag’ rule came into effect from April 1, 2024 

  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has introduced the 'One Vehicle, One Fastag' norm, which aims to prevent the use of the same Fastag for multiple vehicles or linking multiple Fastags. 
  • This new norm has come into effect from April 1, 2024. In view of the issues faced by Paytm FASTag users, NHAI had earlier extended the compliance deadline till the end of March. 
  • Rationale behind the move The ‘One Vehicle, One Fastag’ initiative aims to increase the efficiency of the electronic toll collection system and ensure smooth movement at toll plazas by discouraging misuse of Fastag. 
  • The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has decided to declare all the lanes at toll free plazas located on all the national highways of the country as 'FASTag Lanes' from December 1, 2019. 
  • FASTag is an electronic toll collection system operated by NHAI in India. It uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to make toll payments directly from the linked prepaid or savings account. 
  • With a penetration rate of approximately 98% and over 8 crore users, FASTag has revolutionized the electronic toll collection system in the country, providing convenience and efficiency to commuters. 
  • Under this login to IHMCL Customer Portal, select “My Profile”, then select “KYC” subsection. Fill in the required ID and address proof documents, and your KYC request will be processed within 7 working days. 

International News 

5. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi Sworn in as Egyptian President for his third term 

  • Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in as the president of Egypt for a third term. He will remain the president until 2030. 
  • The Egyptian President has a six-year term. President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi took the oath of office at the headquarters of the Egyptian Parliament in the New Administrative Capital. 
  • President Sisi won the presidential election held in December 2023 with 88.6% of the votes. There was hardly any serious opponent to Sisi in the Presidential election. 

About Egypt 

  • Capital- Cairo 
  • Currency- Egyptian pound 
  • Continent – Africa, Asia 
  • President – Abdel Fattah El-Sisi 

Newly Appointed Prime Minister & President 

  • PM of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – Judith Suminwa Tuluka (nation’s first female PM) 
  • President of Senegal – Bassirou Diomaye Faye 
  • Prime Minister of Portugal – Luis Montenegro 
  • President of Indonesia – Prabowo Subianto 
  • PM of Palestinian – Mohammad Mustafa 

6. Nepali Parliament supports BIMSTEC Charter 

  • The BIMSTEC charter was presented by Deputy Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister Narayan Qazi Shrestha in the lower house of the federal parliament of Nepal. The majority in the lower house supported the proposal to support the BIMSTEC Charter. In 2022, the fifth BIMSTEC Summit in Colombo, Sri Lanka was adopted by BIMSTEC Charter. 
  • BIMSTEC Charter can be implemented only after support by Parliament. Apart from Nepal, other six member countries of BIMSTEC have received the support of BIMSTEC Charter from their respective parliamentary. BIMSTEC can create regional cooperation for economic prosperity. 
  • Article 279 (1) of the Constitution of Nepal provides that the treaty and agreement in which Nepal has to form one side will be followed according to the federal law. Section 4 of the Nepal Treaty Act 2027 provides that the government and the Council of Ministers will have to present the charter in the federal parliament. 
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Narayan Qazi Shrestha has said that Nepal does not accept the Bay of Bay Initiative (BIMSTEC) for multi-regional technical and economic cooperation in place of other regional organization, South Asian Regional Cooperation Organization (SAARC) Will do it No SAARC summit has been held since 2014. The SAARC Secretariat is in Kathmandu, Nepal while BIMSTEC Secretariat is in Dhaka, Bangladesh. 


  • There is a regional organization consisting of seven member countries: five are from South Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and two from Southeast Asia, including Myanmar and Thailand. The sub-regional organization came into existence on 6 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration. 
  • BIMSTEC Secretariat is in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Nepal became a member of BIMSTEC in 2004. Cooperation within BIMSTEC was initially focused on six regions (trade, technology, energy, transport, tourism and fisheries) in 1997 and expanded to other regions in 2008. In 2021, each member state had to lead some areas due to a reorganization. 
  • India focuses on terrorism and international crime, disaster management and energy as well as security. 

7. Germany becomes the third European country to enact a law on recreational cannabis use 

  • In Germany, as of April 1, 2024, legislation governing the recreational use of cannabis comes into force. Germany has become the largest EU country to legalize recreational cannabis. The move makes Germany the third country in Europe to do so, after Malta and Luxembourg. 
  • The Netherlands prohibits the possession of drugs but some municipalities allow them to be sold in coffee shops under their socalled tolerance policy. Under this law, adults aged 18 years and above will be allowed to possess 25 grams of cannabis in public places. Up to 50 grams of home-grown cannabis will be allowed in private areas. 
  • Adults can now privately grow up to three plants for personal consumption. The next phase of the legislation, starting from July 1, 2024, will allow the legal acquisition of cannabis through 'cannabis clubs' in the country. 
  • These clubs can each have a maximum of 500 members and can distribute up to 50 grams of cannabis per person monthly. Only club members will be allowed to consume their outputs. 
  • The Social Democrats-led government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz argues that legalization would help curb a thriving black market in cannabis. 
  • The German government said cannabis would remain illegal for minors and highly restricted for young adults, adding that consumption of the drug would be illegal near schools and playgrounds.
  • While initial plans to sell cannabis through licensed shops were canceled due to EU opposition, a follow-up law to govern the sale of cannabis in designated areas is in the works. 
  • However, health experts warn that increased access could lead to increased use among youth, leading to health risks such as central nervous system development issues, psychosis and schizophrenia. 

8. South Korea sets a new world record for maintaining plasma temperature of 100 million degrees for 48 seconds 

  • South Korean scientists have achieved an unprecedented milestone in nuclear fusion technology, setting a new world record by maintaining a plasma temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius for a long period of time. 
  • According to Si-woo Eun, director of the KSTAR Research Center at the Korean Institute of Fusion Energy (KFE), maintaining hightemperature and high-density plasma where long-term fusion reactions can occur is critical to the success of future nuclear fusion reactors. 
  • The KSTAR device, dubbed an "artificial sun" by KFE, achieved this latest record by maintaining a plasma temperature of 100 million degrees for 48 seconds during tests conducted between December 2023 and February 2024. This achievement has surpassed the previous record of 30 seconds in the year 2021. 
  • Modifications to the process, including the substitution of tungsten for carbon in components called divertors – which remove heat and impurities from the fusion reaction – were helpful in extending the duration of the plasma state. 
  • KSTAR's ultimate goal is to maintain these plasma temperatures for 300 seconds by 2026, a milestone that Si-Woo Yoon considers a "key point" for scaling up fusion operations. 

Atomic fusion 

  • It mimics the processes that power the Sun and other stars, involving fusing two atoms together to release huge amounts of energy. This clean energy source promises to provide unlimited energy without contributing to carbon pollution, positioning it as a key solution in combating climate change. 
  • The key to obtaining fusion energy lies in the tokamak, a donutshaped reactor that heats hydrogen variants to create plasma – a state of matter where atomic nuclei and electrons are separated. 
  • Progress made in South Korea is expected to contribute significantly to the development of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in southern France, the world's largest tokamak, which aims to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion energy. 
  • The announcement follows a series of successes in nuclear fusion research, including a successful reaction at the National Ignition Facility in the United States and a record-setting fusion energy output near Oxford, England. 

9. International Intellectual Property (IP) Index 

  • The US Chamber of Commerce recently unveiled the 12th edition of its International Intellectual Property (IP) Index-2023. India ranked 42nd among 55 countries with an overall score of 38.64 percent, which is unchanged from 2022. 
  • The top countries in the index are United States (95.48%), UK (94.12%), France (93.12%), Germany (92.46%). 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. 

State News 

9.U.P. police constable: exam paper leak mastermind arrested 

  • The Uttar Pradesh police on Wednesday said it arrested the alleged mastermind of the police constable recruitment examination 2023 paper leak. Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Amitabh Yash said that Rajiv Nayan Mishra was arrested by the Special Task Force (STF), from the Pari Chowk locality in Greater Noida, late on Tuesday evening. 
  • "It comes to our notice during the investigation that the accused also booked a resort in Rewa for aspirants to read out the question paper," reads the STF statement. 
  • The name of the accused is added in the First Information Report (FIR) registered under sections T 419 (punishment for cheating by personation), 420 (cheating by inducement), 467 (forgery of valuable documents), 468 (forgery for cheating), and 471 (us- ing as genuine a forged document) of the Indian Penal Code. 
  • "Earlier, Rajiv was arrested in connection with a paper leak of nursing staff recruitment under NHM in Bhopal and was sent to Gwalior jail," the STF said. 
  • More than 48.17 lakh aspirants had filed the form to appear in the written test which took place at 2,385 centers across the State on February 17 and 18, but the Uttar Pradesh government on February 24 canceled the examination following allegations. 

10. Tamil Nadu's Kodaikanal Solar Observatory celebrates 125th anniversary 

  • Perched atop the picturesque Palani Hills in Tamil Nadu, the iconic Kodaikanal Solar Observatory (KSO) recently celebrated its 125th anniversary of studying the Sun, the celestial body that sustains life on Earth. 
  • On April 1, 2024, the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology, organized a grand celebration to honor the legacy of this historic observatory. 
  • A S Kiran Kumar, former Chairman of ISRO and current Chairman of the Governing Council of IIA, unveiled the KSO 125 logo for the anniversary celebrations, as well as released a booklet detailing the history and research highlights of the observatory. 
  • Established by the British on April 1, 1899, the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory has been the cradle of groundbreaking research in solar astrophysics for more than a century. 
  • One of KSO's most notable achievements is capturing one of the longest continuous daily records of the Sun in the world. This unique database contains more than 1.2 million digitized solar images and thousands of new images captured every day since the beginning of the 20th century. 

Kodaikanal Solar Observatory 

  • Its roots can be traced to the Madras Observatory, established in 1792, which laid the foundation for India's entry into the field of astronomical exploration. 
  • Professor Siraj Hasan, former Director of the IIA and a renowned solar physicist, made the unprecedented discovery of the Evershed Effect, the observed radial flow of gas in sunspots, made at the observatory in 1909. 
  • The Kodaikanal Solar Observatory is a testament to over a century and a half of scientists observing the Sun from Indian soil, chasing eclipses, discovering helium in 1868, understanding the plasma process in the Sun and its production. 

Defence News 

11. Lt Gen Sidana takes over as new DG of Electronics & Mechanical Engineers 

  • Lt Gen J S Sidana has taken over as the new Director General of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (DGEME) and Senior Colonel Commandant of the Corps of EME. 
  • During his career spanning over 38 years, he has held a variety of important regimental, command, instructional and staff appointments. 
  • Before his present appointment, he was holding the post of Commandant of Military College of EME for a duration of two years. 
  • He has been the Major General of EME of HQ Central Command and “commanded Army Base Workshop & EME Centre”. 

Appointment & Resignation News 

12. Sanjay Nair becomes President of ASSOCHAM 

  • Sorin Investment Fund Chairman Sanjay Nair has taken over as president of industry body ASSOCHAM for 2024-25. Nair replaced Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet. Sanjay Nair is also a board member of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum. 
  • Assocham said in the statement that Nair has four decades of experience in global financial and capital markets. He worked at City for 25 years and KKR for about 14 years before retiring last year. Nair set up the KKR India operation in 2009 after leaving Citigroup. He serves as a non-executive director at Nykaa, founded by him and his wife Falguni Nair. 
  • ASSOCHAM is a non-governmental trade association and advocacy group based in New Delhi (headquarters). It is one of the largest trade associations in India. ASSOCHAM was established in the year 1920 to create value for Indian industry. 
  • ASSOCHAM has more than 200 chambers and trade associations across India. It has more than 450,000 members.  
  • Lieutenant General JS Sidana – Director General of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers Lieutenant General JS Sidana took over as the 33rd Director General of the Department of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (DGEME) and Senior Colonel Commandant of the EME Corps on April 1, 2024, the Defense Ministry said in a press release. 
  • During his career spanning over 38 years, he has held a number of important regimental, command, instructional and staff appointments. Prior to his present appointment, he held the post of Commandant, Military College, EME for a period of two years.
  • Sidana has been the Master General of EME at Headquarters Central Command and has commanded the Army Base Workshop and EME Centre. JS Sidana is an alumnus of the National Defense Academy, Khadakwasla and was commissioned into the EME Corps from the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun on December 14, 1985. 

Important day 

13. 4 April – International Mine Awareness Day 

  • The United Nations Observes International Mine Awareness Day on 4th April every year. 
  • International Mine Awareness Day is a day dedicated to raising awareness about the serious impact of landmines and other explosive remnants of war on civilians.  
  • Theme 2024 – Protecting Lives, Building Peace 
  • On December 8, 2005, the UN General Assembly accepted the decision and announced April 4 of each year to be marked as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. It was first observed in 2006. 

14. 4 April- International Carrot Day 

  • International Carrot Day is celebrated every year on 4 April. 
  • This day is dedicated to the popular carrot vegetable and all the activities that are associated with it. 
  • Objective – To raise awareness about the potential health benefits of carrots, including reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, and obesity. 
  • The Carrot Day was founded in 2003 to spread knowledge about the carrot and its good attributes around the world. The day is increasingly popular, and 4th April 2012 carrot day celebration was reported from France, Italy, Sweden, Russia, Australia, UK and Japan Ranks & Reports News 

15.Bengaluru to save nearly 60 MLD water through supply cut to big consumers 

  • Amid a raging water crisis in the city, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) now aims to save 60 million liters per day (MLD) of water through supply cuts to big consumers. This will make up for 12% of the 500 MLD water deficit the city faces daily this summer. 
  • The BWSSB has categorized big consumers into three categories bulk users (over 2 crore liters a day), big consumers (who use 20 lakh to 40 lakh liters a day), and those who consume between 40 lakh and 2 crore liters a day. Together, they consume 525 MLD, which is 36% of the water the city draws from the Cauvery river every day. 
  • The board announced a 20% supply cut to 38 bulk users that include defense establishments, HAL, Biocon, Nimhans, Bangalore University, among others, on March 15. 12 MLD daily. Hospitals are exempted from this cue. 
  • Now, the supply cut will be expanded to other big users, mostly big commercial establishments, apartment complexes and industries that consume between 20 lakh 
  • There are nearly 20,000 such consumers across Bengali Luma. 
  • "We already have meat consumers who use 40 lakh and 2 crore Times a day. Om Agrill 4, we will meet those who consume between 20 lakh and 40 lakh liters a day. These users use 475 MLD. In the first phase, we are cuming supply no big consumers by 100% in the month of Agell. Through this, BUSSB will save nearly 50 MLD of wa ner every day," said Ram Prasatih Manebar V., Chair man, BISSB 
  • Depending on the water situation in Ming, the board may go for a second phase and cut supply to these hig users by another 10%, The added. 

16.Nuclear power is key to development, says study 

  • For India to be developed by 2047 and be on a country track to achieve net zero or effectively zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2070 it must significantly prioritize Investments in nuclear energy and expand related infrastructure, says a study by academics at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. 
  • The results of the study, funded by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, were made public on Wednesday. Currently, nuclear energy makes up only 1.6% of India's energy mix. 
  • The report postulates several scenarios. These are a high-, medium , and low-economic growth scenario, a scenario where there is a "thrust" on nuclear energy, another with a thrust on expanding fossil fuel use along with employing carbon capture and storage, a scenario with an emphasis on renewable energy (solar, wind), and finally one that combines all of these. 
  • The authors used mathematical models to estimate what proportion of various sources of energy would be required by 2030 and 2050 to arrive at an ideal scenario of net zero emissions by 2070. This was further tempered by scenarios of India's population achieving a human development index like Western European countries and the price of access to energy going down. 
  • The best case, their calculations showed, were, where emissions in 2070 fell to 0.55 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide ('net zero' scenario). This translated to nuclear power rising five-fold from today's levels to 30 GW (gigawatt) by 2030 and 265 GW by 2050. To put in perspective, it means nuclear power contributing 4% of India's total energy by 2030 and sharply rising to 30% by 2050. In the same scenario, the share of solar power falls from 42% in 2030 to 30% in 2050. 
  • Uranium availability Currently, figures from the Central Electricity Authority say solar energy accounts for 16% of India's installed generation capacity and coal 49%. To achieve these idealistic figures for nuclear energy would require a doubling of investments as well as the assumption that uranium, a critical fuel but restricted by international embargo, is available in necessary quantities. 
  • The authors, led by Professor Amit Garg of IIM, Ahmedabad, said at a press conference that there was no "silver bullet" to achieve net zero and "myriad technologies needed to coexist" in India's energy basket. 
  • Coal would likely be the "backbone" of the Indian energy system and if the country has to phase down coal in the next three decades, it would need to build adequate infrastructure for alternative sources such as nuclear power, in addition to flexible grid infrastructure and storage to support the integration of renewable energy. 
  • Overall, India would need close to ₹150-200 lakh crore between 2020-2070 to finance these transitions, the report added. 

17. Bharat Aluminum Company becomes the first domestic company to be certified by ASI performance standard. 

  • Bharat Aluminum Company Limited (BALCO), a unit of Chhattisgarh-based Vedanta Aluminum, has achieved Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI) Performance Standard V3 certification. 
  • This recognition establishes BALCO as the first Indian company to receive this certification, highlighting its commitment to sustainable practices across the aluminum value chain. 
  • The ASI certification program was developed through an extensive multi-stakeholder consultation process and is the only comprehensive voluntary sustainability standards initiative for the global aluminum value chain. 
  • The ASI Performance Standard V3 defines 11 principles and 62 criteria under three sustainability pillars – environmental, social and governance – aimed at addressing sustainability areas in the aluminum value chain, such as biodiversity, indigenous peoples' rights, circularity and greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • These facilities collectively contribute to an annual production capacity of 575,000 tonnes of aluminium. BALCO produces aluminum wire rods, ingots, primary foundry alloys and rolled products, as well as India's first low carbon aluminum range Restora. 
  • The ASI Performance Standard V3 targets key sustainability areas within the aluminum value chain, including biodiversity conservation, indigenous peoples' rights, circularity and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. 
  • BALCO is taking a multi-pronged approach to achieve net zero by 2050 by setting clear timelines to reduce emissions. 

18. According to the World Bank, the growth rate of Indian economy in the year 2024 will be 7.5 percent. 

  • The Indian economy is projected to grow by 7.5 percent in 2024, the World Bank said in its South Asia Development Update, revising its earlier projections for the same period to 1.2 percent. 
  • Economic activity in India experienced a surprise surge in Q4 2023, up 8.4% from a year earlier, the World Bank said. "In India, which forms the bulk of the region's economy, output growth is expected to reach 7.5% in fiscal year 2023/24, before returning to 6.6% in the medium term, driven by strong activity in services and industry," the bank said. Expected to stay." 
  • In February, India's composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) stood at 60.6, well above the global average of 52.1 (values above 50 indicate expansion). 
  • In India, inflation has remained within the Reserve Bank of India's 2-6% target range since the increase in mid-2023, and the policy rate remains unchanged from February 2023, according to the report. Food price inflation has increased marginally. 
  • FDI as a share of GDP declined in 2023, but a surge in foreign portfolio investment flows in FY 2023/24 contributed to an 8% increase in foreign reserves by January 2024. 

Other facts 

  • According to the World Bank's most recent South Asia Development Update, overall growth in South Asia is projected to strengthen to 6 percent in 2024, driven primarily by strong growth in India and recoveries in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. 
  • According to the report, South Asia is expected to remain the fastest growing region in the world for the next two years, with the growth rate projected to be 6.1 percent in 2025. Said in this report, In Bangladesh, output is expected to grow by 5.7% in fiscal year 2024/25, with economic activity constrained by high inflation and restrictions on trade and foreign exchange. 
  • After a contraction in FY22/23, Pakistan's economy is expected to grow by 2.3% in FY24/25 due to improving business confidence. In Sri Lanka, output growth is expected to strengthen to 2.5% in 2025, with modest improvements in reserves, remittances and tourism. 
  • “South Asia is failing to fully take advantage of its demographic dividend right now. “This is a missed opportunity,” said Franziska Ohnsorge, the World Bank's chief economist for South Asia. 

19. Matabari Pera Prasad and Rignai Pachara Textiles of Tripura got GI tag. 

  • Two traditional products of Tripura have recently received the coveted Geographical Indication (GI) tag. These products are Matabari Pera Prasad and Rignai Pachara Textiles. With this, Tripura now has 4 GI protected products.
  • ‘Matabari Pera Prasad’ is a sweet prasad at the famous Tripureshwari temple in Tripura. Made from milk and sugar, this dish is famous for its distinctive taste and deeply rooted cultural traditions. 
  • ‘Rignai Pachara’ is a traditional hand-woven garment carefully crafted by skilled artisans using indigenous materials and techniques. This garment holds symbolic value in the cultural tapestry of Tripura and reflects the rich textile heritage of the region. 
  • Apart from this, Queen Pineapple of Tripura has already received GI tag through the initiative of North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERMAC). 

Indian Polity News 

20.Political affiliation does not influence selection process of new Sainik Schools: govt. 

  • The scheme for new Sainik Schools is "well thought out" and the "political or ideological affiliation or otherwise" of the applicant institution does not influence the selection process, the Defence Ministry said on Wednesday, responding to some reports. 
  • It stated that attempts to "politicize or distort" the objectives and implementation of the scheme by "casting aspersions on it are unwarranted and misleading". 
  • In addition to the existing 33 schools, the Ministry had approved proposals for 100 more schools built in to ensure continuing adherence to the objectives," the Ministry said in a statement.
  • Sainik Schools were established in the 1960s under the Sainik Schools Society (SSS), which is under the Ministry and there are 33 existing schools. 
  • Given the demand for Sainik Schools, the Union Cabinet had in October 2021 approved the proposal for launching 100 Sainik Schools under public-private partnership to be affi- liated with the SSS. 
  • Detailing the selection process, the Ministry said the evaluation process includes a School Evaluation Committee comprising the District Magistrate concerned as Chairperson and principles of nearby existing Sainik Schools or Navodaya Vidyalaya. 
  • Physical inspection of the applicant school and verification of the credentials is done as per laid down criteria, it stated, and an approval committee that consists of the Joint Secretary, SSS as Chairperson, Secretary of CBSE and an eminent educationist as members accord the final recommendations. 

21.ECI Ropes in Ayushmann Khurrana to Urge Youth to Vote 

  • Actor Ayushmann Khurrana has been roped in by the Election Commission of India to urge the youngsters to vote in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. 
  • The 39-year-old actor features in the ECI’s campaign video that encourages the youth to exercise their franchise in the upcoming elections. 
  • Everyone must vote and be conscious citizens by participating in the process of nation-building. The power to choose the leaders who will represent the country, represent our needs in the Parliament rests with us, the actor added. 

Election Commission of India in News 

  • ECI launched Saksham app to facilitate easier voting for Persons-with-Disabilities (PWDs) 
  • Meta partners with ECI to identify unlawful content from its platforms 
  • Google collaborates with ECI to enable voters to discover critical voting information 
  • The Election Commission of India has launched a new mobile application called Know Your Candidate (KYC). 
  • The Election Commission has launched a special campaign in Himachal Pradesh to boost voter turnout in 414 polling stations with less than 60% voting during the last Lok Sabha polls. 

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

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