Current Affairs Dec 8, 2023

Current Affairs Dec 8, 2023


National news:

  1. “NSA Ajit Doval Attends 6th Colombo Security Conclave in Mauritius, Discusses Regional Security Roadmap”

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval participated in the 6th NSA-level Meeting of the Colombo Security Conclave in Port Louis, Mauritius.

The meeting, hosted by Mauritius, included National Security Advisers from member countries and senior delegates from Bangladesh and Seychelles.

Member States reviewed progress from the 5th NSA-level Meeting and agreed on a Roadmap of Activities for 2024 to address security challenges in the Indian Ocean Region.

The focus was on ensuring safety, security, and stability in the region, addressing traditional, non-traditional, and emerging hybrid challenges.

NSA Ajit Doval also had a meeting with the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, during his visit.

Capital of Mauritius – Port Louis.

Currency – Rupee.

Language – English.

Prime Minister – Pravind Jugnath.

2. “PM Modi to Virtually Interact with Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra Beneficiaries on December 9”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to interact with beneficiaries of Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra (VBSY) on December 9 via video conferencing.

The program will see the virtual participation of thousands of VBSY beneficiaries from across the country.

Over two thousand VBSY vans, along with Krishi Vigyan Kendras and Common Service Centres, will be virtually connected during the interaction.

The Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra aims to achieve the saturation of government flagship schemes, ensuring timely delivery of benefits to all targeted beneficiaries nationwide.

The event will also witness the virtual presence of Union Ministers, MPs, MLAs, and local representatives, emphasizing widespread participation and support.

3. “Centre Approves 340 Sports Infrastructure Projects Worth Rs 3566.68 Crore Across India: Sports Minister Anurag Thakur”

Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur announced that the Central government has sanctioned 340 sports infrastructure projects across India, with a total worth of Rs 3566.68 crore.

Thakur clarified that the responsibility for creating and upgrading sports infrastructure lies with state governments, as sports is a state subject. However, the central government supports these efforts by addressing critical gaps.

Under the ‘creation and upgradation of sports infrastructure’ component of the Khelo India scheme, the Ministry provides financial support for the development of basic sports infrastructure.

The supported projects include sports complexes, synthetic athletic tracks, synthetic hockey fields, multipurpose halls, and swimming pools.

The initiative aims to enhance sports facilities and promote sports at the grassroots level, contributing to the overall development of sports infrastructure in the country.

4. “India’s Goods Sector Surpasses Services in Exports, Achieving Record $762 Billion in FY”

Union Electronics and IT Minister Ashwani Vaishnaw announced that the Goods (Merchandise) sector has, for the first time, surpassed the services sector in exports, reaching a total of $762 billion in the last financial year.

Vaishnaw credited this achievement to the Make in India initiative led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, emphasizing the significant role of the manufacturing sector in job creation.

The annual target of creating 2 crore jobs set by the Modi government is reportedly being met, with 1 crore 80 lakh formal employment opportunities generated annually.

The manufacturing sector’s robust performance has contributed significantly to job creation and economic growth.

India’s Goods (Merchandise) exports reached $453 billion, while services exports stood at $309 billion, marking a milestone in the country’s export landscape.

Minister Vaishnaw expressed confidence that India is on track to soon achieve $1 trillion in exports.

The export of mobile phones, driven by the Make in India initiative, has secured the 4th position in overall exports, with mobile phones worth over $11 billion exported in the last fiscal year.

5. “Lok Sabha Passes Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2023; Central Tribal University to be Established in Telangana”

The Lok Sabha has approved the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2023, through a voice vote, amending the Central Universities Act, 2009.

The bill aims to establish a Central Tribal University in Telangana, named ‘Sammakka Sarakka Central Tribal University,’ providing higher education and research facilities primarily for the tribal population of India.

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan stated that the university would be built at an estimated cost of around 900 crore rupees.

The delay in establishing the university was attributed to the time taken by the Telangana Government in identifying the suitable location for the institution.

Minister Pradhan highlighted a significant growth of 81% in Ph.D. course registrations from 2014-15 to 2021-22, with over two lakh students enrolled.

Women’s enrollment in Ph.D. courses increased by 106% during the same period.

The government is actively addressing staff vacancies in higher education institutes, with over 11,000 out of 18,000 vacant posts filled in the last two months.

The Education Minister emphasized the government’s mission to mandate NAAC accreditations for all higher education institutions.

During the debate, members stressed the need for quality education to enhance employability and raised concerns about vacancies reserved for SCs and STs in higher education institutes.

Members from various political parties participated in the discussion, expressing support for the bill and suggesting the establishment of a National Tribal University in Maharashtra.

Capital of Telangana – Hyderabad.

Chief Minister – Revanth Reddy

Governor – Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan

6. “National Mission for Manuscripts Achieves Milestone: Documents 52 Lakh Manuscripts, Conserves 90 Million Folios”

The National Mission for Manuscripts has successfully documented 52 lakh manuscripts and conserved 90 million folios across the country, according to Union Culture Minister G. Kishan Reddy.

In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister Reddy highlighted the significant achievements of the mission in preserving and promoting India’s rich manuscript heritage.

The mission has uploaded one lakh 25 thousand manuscripts on its cloud platform, with 75 thousand manuscripts available for research purposes in the public domain.

The primary objective of the National Mission for Manuscripts is to locate manuscripts through a national-level survey and post-survey activities.

Additionally, the mission aims to promote access to manuscripts by digitizing rare and endangered manuscripts, facilitating broader research and study.

The initiative underscores the government’s commitment to preserving and showcasing India’s cultural and historical treasures for future generations.

7. “Prime Minister Modi Extends Congratulations to Revanth Reddy on Becoming Telangana Chief Minister”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Mr. Revanth Reddy on taking oath as the Chief Minister of Telangana.

In a social media post, PM Modi expressed his best wishes and assured all possible support to advance the progress of the state and promote the welfare of its people.

The congratulatory message signifies the central government’s commitment to collaborating with the newly appointed Chief Minister for the development and well-being of Telangana.

Revanth Reddy assumes the role of Chief Minister, and the Prime Minister’s gesture reflects the importance of cooperative governance for the benefit of the state’s residents.

Capital of Telangana – Hyderabad.

Chief Minister – Revanth Reddy

Governor – Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan

8. “CDS General Anil Chauhan Inaugurates HAL Avionics Expo 2023, Emphasizes Aatma-Nirbharta in Aviation”

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Anil Chauhan, inaugurated the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Avionics Expo 2023 in New Delhi.

CDS Chauhan highlighted the need for the aviation sector to keep pace with rapid technological advancements in a changing world.

He emphasized the trend toward convergence warfare, where diverse technologies merge for more automated and autonomous battles.

Avionics, being the backbone of modern aerospace systems, is expected to benefit both the armed forces and the civil sector, according to CDS Chauhan.

Aatma-Nirbharta (self-reliance) in the aviation sector was stressed by the CDS to reduce import dependency, boost the economy, and enhance resilience to geopolitical and economic instabilities.

The expo is a two-day event showcasing various avionics technologies, including navigation, communication, and identification systems.

It provides a platform for armed forces, industry professionals, policymakers, researchers, and students to exchange ideas and assess the industry’s current status.

The expo aims to contribute to the growth and development of the aviation sector in India by fostering collaboration and innovation.

9. “Over 56 Lakh Street Vendors Benefit from PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PMSVANidhi) Scheme”

The government has reported that more than 56 lakh street vendors have benefited from the PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PMSVANidhi) Scheme, launched in 2020.

The scheme allows street vendors to avail a working capital loan of up to Rs. 10,000, repayable in monthly installments over a tenure of one year.

Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, responding during question hour in the Lok Sabha, stated that the disbursed loan amount has exceeded nine thousand crore rupees.

The PMSVANidhi Scheme aims to support street vendors in becoming self-reliant by providing financial assistance to meet their working capital requirements.

The significant number of beneficiaries highlights the impact of the scheme in providing economic support to street vendors, a crucial section of the informal economy.

The Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PMSVANidhi) scheme is a government initiative in India. Launched to support street vendors who faced economic challenges, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the scheme aims to provide affordable working capital loans to street vendors.

10. “PM Narendra Modi to Inaugurate ‘Uttarakhand Global Investors Summit 2023’ in Dehradun”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate the ‘Uttarakhand Global Investors Summit 2023’ at the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun.

The two-day summit, organized under the theme “Peace to Prosperity,” aims to position Uttarakhand as a new investment destination.

The event is expected to draw participation from thousands of investors and delegates from around the world.

The summit provides a platform for showcasing investment opportunities in Uttarakhand and fostering partnerships for economic growth.

The focus on “Peace to Prosperity” suggests a comprehensive approach to development that includes stability and economic progress for the state.

The summit aligns with the government’s efforts to attract investment, boost economic development, and create employment opportunities in Uttarakhand.

PM Modi’s involvement highlights the significance of the summit in driving the state’s economic growth and prosperity.

Capital of Uttarkhand – Dehradun, Gairsin.

Chief Minister – Shri Pushkar Singh Dhami

Governor – Gurmit Singh

11. “Government to Implement “Nari Adalat” Component Under Mission Shakti in Assam and Jammu & Kashmir”

Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani, informed the Rajya Sabha that the government has decided to implement the “Nari Adalat” component in a phased manner under Mission Shakti.

In the first phase, Assam and the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir have been selected for the implementation of the Nari Adalat component.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the initiative is being implemented in two aspirational districts, namely Kupwara and Baramulla.

In Assam, seven districts—Barpeta, Goalpara, South Salmara Mankachar, Udalguri, Darrang, Morigaon, and Kamrup—have been covered under the Nari Adalat component.

100% of the funds prescribed under Mission Shakti guidelines have been released to Jammu and Kashmir and Assam for the implementation of Nari Adalat during the financial year 2023-24.

Mission Shakti, as an umbrella scheme, is aimed at ensuring the safety, security, and empowerment of women, promoting women-led development, and addressing issues affecting women throughout their life cycle.

The budget allocation for Mission Shakti for the financial year 2023-24 is approximately 3 thousand 144 crore rupees.

International news:

12. “Dubai Inaugurates World’s Largest Concentrated Solar Power Project, Sets Guinness World Records”

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

The project marks the launch of the world’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) project, constructed at an investment of AED15.78 billion.

The 950 MW phase utilizes three hybrid technologies: 600MW from a parabolic basin complex, 100MW from a CSP tower, and 250MW from photovoltaic solar panels.

The project features the tallest solar tower globally, standing at 263.126 meters, and holds the Guinness World Record for the largest thermal energy storage capacity (5,907 megawatt hours).

The solar park covers 44 square kilometers and features 70,000 heliostats tracking the sun’s movement.

The Molten Salt Receiver (MSR) atop the solar power tower converts solar radiation into thermal energy, containing over 1,000 thin tubes for efficient absorption.

Anticipated benefits include providing clean energy to around 320,000 residences and reducing carbon emissions by approximately 1.6 million tonnes annually.

The project aligns with the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategy and contributes to global climate action goals, emphasizing sustainability and clean energy production.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is crucial for achieving the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050, targeting 100% clean energy production by 2050.

The inauguration coincides with COP28, highlighting the UAE’s commitment to climate action and renewable energy.

Capital of UAE – Abu Dhabi.

Currency- Dirham.

Language – Arabic.

Prime Minister – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

13. “State of Emergency Declared in Seychelles After Massive Explosion and Flooding”

Seychelles has declared a state of emergency following a massive explosion at an industrial area on the main island, Mahé.

The explosion occurred at a construction and quarrying company where explosives were stored in containers, causing devastation to commercial buildings and nearby housing.

Seychelles’ President Wavel Ramkalawan has ordered everyone, except essential workers, to stay at home.

The blast damaged the international airport, despite being 4km away. Schools are closed, hospitals are only open for emergency cases, and several people have been evacuated.

The explosion comes amidst exceptionally heavy rain that caused severe flooding and landslides, adding to the challenges faced by response teams.

President Ramkalawan described the twin disasters as a calamity for the country and appealed for solidarity with those affected.

The Seychelles, known for its tourism, consists of 115 islands and has a population of about 100,000 people.

Capital of Seychelles’ – Victoria.

Currency- Rupee.

Language – Creole, French, English.

President  – Wavel Ramkalawan

14. “Sweden Signs Defense Cooperation Agreement with the United States in Washington”

Sweden signed a defense cooperation agreement with the United States in Washington, allowing the US access to all military bases in Sweden.

The agreement is significant as Sweden is on the path to joining NATO, the trans-Atlantic security alliance.

Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson stated that the deal will enhance conditions for Sweden to receive US support in the event of a war or crisis.

US Secretary of State Lloyd Austin emphasized that integrating the capabilities of the Swedish armed forces into NATO will strengthen the alliance.

The agreement mirrors a similar deal between the US and Sweden’s neighbor, Norway, signed in 2021.

The US is currently in negotiations for similar defense cooperation agreements with two other Nordic countries, Finland and Denmark.

Sweden and Finland decided to abandon their long-standing policy of non-alignment and applied for NATO membership in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Finland joined NATO in April 2022, and Sweden’s move to strengthen defense cooperation aligns with evolving security dynamics in the region.

Capital of Swedon – Stockholm.

Currency- Krona.

Language –Swedish.

Prime Minister – Stefen Lofven.

15. “India-born Media Executive Dr. Samir Shah Named UK Government’s Preferred Candidate for New BBC Chairman”

India-born media executive, Dr. Samir Shah, has been announced as the UK government’s preferred candidate for the position of the new BBC chairman.

Before officially assuming the role, Dr. Shah will undergo pre-appointment scrutiny by cross-party MPs of the House of Commons Media Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee.

Dr. Shah received the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) honor from Queen Elizabeth II in 2019 for his contributions to television and heritage.

He is set to replace Richard Sharp, who resigned from the position amid scrutiny of his communications with former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The BBC chairman plays a crucial role in overseeing the governance and strategic direction of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

Dr. Samir Shah’s appointment is subject to approval following the pre-appointment scrutiny process by parliamentary committees.


16. “Spain Defeats India 4-1 in Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup Pool-Stage Match”

In the FIH Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup, India suffered a 4-1 defeat against Spain in the second Pool C match in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The loss follows India’s victory over Korea in the opening match with a score of 4-2, where Vice-captain Araijeet Singh Hundal contributed a hat-trick.

India’s next and final pool-stage match is against Canada on Saturday.

Pool A includes defending champions Argentina, Australia, Chile, and Malaysia, while Pool B consists of Egypt, France, Germany, and South Africa.

Pool D is considered challenging with Belgium, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Pakistan competing for quarterfinal berths.

The top two teams from each pool will advance to the quarterfinals in the tournament.

Capital of Spain – Madrid.

Currency – Euro.

Language – Spanish.

Prime Minister – Pedro Sanchez.

Important days:

17. “India Observes Armed Forces Flag Day to Honor Martyrs and Soldiers in the Armed Forces”

India observes Armed Forces Flag Day on December 7 annually to honor martyrs and soldiers in the armed forces.

The tradition of Armed Forces Flag Day has been observed since 1949, expressing gratitude for the selfless contributions of soldiers to the nation.

The day serves as an opportunity for citizens to contribute to the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund, which supports the welfare of armed forces personnel, veterans, and their families.

Various activities and events are organized across the country to raise awareness and collect funds for the well-being of armed forces personnel.

The Armed Forces Flag Day underscores the nation’s appreciation for the sacrifices made by soldiers and the importance of supporting their families.

It is a day to reflect on the dedication and bravery of the armed forces in safeguarding the nation’s security and sovereignty.

Citizens are encouraged to wear the Armed Forces Flag as a symbol of solidarity and gratitude for the sacrifices made by the armed forces personnel.


18. “President Droupadi Murmu Presents Lakshmipat Singhania – IIM Lucknow National Leadership Awards, Emphasizes Sustainable Entrepreneurship”

President Droupadi Murmu presented the Lakshmipat Singhania – IIM Lucknow National Leadership Awards in New Delhi.

During the event, President Murmu expressed concerns about the blind race for increased production and productivity, citing its negative impact on humanity, leading to climate change and ecological disturbances.

She emphasized that profit maximization, a concept more prevalent in Western culture, has not been prioritized in Indian culture. However, Indian culture places significant importance on entrepreneurship.

The President was pleased to note that the youth in India are increasingly adopting a culture of self-employment, with India ranking as the third-largest startup ecosystem globally.

India is recognized among the best unicorn hubs worldwide, showcasing the management skills and business leadership of the country’s youth.

President Murmu highlighted that Indian youth are leading some of the world’s top tech companies.

Acknowledging the need for changes in the education system of management institutions, the President urged for a more effective and inclusive development approach.

She called on managers, educationists, and organizational heads to connect Indian management studies with Indian companies, consumers, and society for the country’s overall progress.

Books and Author:

19. “Former President Ram Nath Kovind Launches “Naye Bharat ka Samveda,” a Compilation of PM Modi’s Speeches on Indian Constitution”

Former President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, launched the book “Naye Bharat ka Samveda” in New Delhi on December 7, 2023.

The book is a compilation of speeches by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Indian Constitution.

In his keynote address, Mr. Kovind emphasized the importance of citizens having adequate knowledge about the Constitution, stating that it makes everything easier.

Kovind highlighted that understanding the Constitution helps citizens recognize the concern of the constitution makers for every individual in society.

Speaking about the book, the former President mentioned that PM Modi frequently refers to the Constitution, encouraging people to familiarize themselves with its contents.

PM Modi regards the Constitution of India as the primary guide for the code of conduct and direction for the government.

The book launch event reflects the significance of promoting constitutional awareness and understanding among the citizens of India.


20. “Jago Grahak Jago” Campaign Empowers Consumers Nationwide Through Diverse Outreach and Digital Initiatives”

The Department of Consumer Affairs employs a multi-pronged approach, utilizing print media, TV, radio, cinema, websites, hoardings, and participation in fairs and festivals to inform consumers about fraudulent practices and common issues.

The Department releases grants to States and UTs for conducting consumer awareness activities, focusing on local content to enhance awareness at the grassroots level.

Leveraging digital platforms, the campaign utilizes social media for consistent dissemination of creative content emphasizing consumer rights and redressal mechanisms.

The Central Government provides financial assistance to enhance the infrastructure of Consumer Commissions at District and State levels under the ‘Strengthening Consumer Commissions’ scheme.

The Department operates the ‘Computerization and Computer Networking of Consumer Commissions (CONFONET)’ scheme, ensuring quick access to information and facilitating the speedy disposal of cases through full computerization.

The development of the “” online application portal allows consumers and advocates to file complaints online, currently operational in 35 States/UTs, promoting convenience and accessibility in submitting consumer complaints.

21. “Gram Manchitra” App Revolutionizes Local Planning with GIS Technology”

The Ministry of Panchayati Raj introduces “Gram Manchitra,” a Geographic Information System (GIS) application, providing Gram Panchayats with a comprehensive and unified Geo-Spatial platform for effective planning across various sectors.

Complementing “Gram Manchitra,” the mobile-based solution “mActionSoft” facilitates geo-tagging of assets through GPS coordinates, covering stages from pre-commencement to completion. This aids in transparent tracking of projects in sectors like natural resource management, water harvesting, sanitation, agriculture, check dams, and irrigation channels.

Assets geo-tagged using “mActionSoft” seamlessly integrate with “Gram Manchitra,” offering enhanced visualization of developmental works. This integration ensures transparency and accessibility of information regarding assets created under finance commission funds.

“Gram Manchitra” incorporates GIS-based planning tools, assisting Gram Panchayat officials in formulating realistic and achievable development plans. These tools play a crucial role in project site identification, asset tracking, cost estimation, and impact assessment.

Serving as a unified platform, “Gram Manchitra” supports the Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) by providing a comprehensive view of developmental works, acting as a decision support system for planning and execution.

The introduction of these technology-driven tools empowers Gram Panchayats in spatial planning, fostering transparency, accessibility, and effective utilization of finance commission funds for local development.

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