Current Affairs Dec 19 & 20, 2023

Current Affairs Dec 19 & 20, 2023

DAILY-CURRENT-AFFAIRS-BY-EDUSPRINT

1. “Manipur Health Minister Launches SAANS Campaign 2023-24 to Combat Pneumonia; Urges Media Engagement in Awareness Efforts”

  • Manipur’s Health and Family Welfare Minister, Dr. Sapam Ranjan Singh, inaugurates the Social Awareness and Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully (SAANS) Campaign 2023-24 in Imphal.
  • The Minister emphasizes the preventability and treatability of pneumonia through timely precautions, urging public awareness as a crucial step.
  • In conjunction with the campaign launch, the State Newborn Resource Centre at Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) is inaugurated.
  • Dr. Singh highlights the increasing number of COVID-19 active cases in South India, indicating coordination with the Union Health Ministry to ensure preparedness.
  • The Health Minister calls upon the media fraternity to actively participate in disseminating information about pneumonia prevention, seeking their support in reaching the broader population.
  • Capital of Manipur –

Chief Minister –

Governor –

2. “Union Minister Unveils Commemorative Stamp on AIIA Goa’s First Foundation Day, Highlights Ayurveda’s Global Reach”

  • Union Minister of AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal, releases a commemorative postal stamp in New Delhi to mark the first foundation day of the All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), Goa.
  • Minister of State for AYUSH, Dr. Munjapara Mahendrabhai, and AYUSH Ministry Secretary, Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, join Sonowal in the event.
  • The satellite center of AIIA in Goa was dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, contributing to Ayurveda’s global promotion.
  • Sonowal expresses pride in the release of the commemorative stamp, highlighting AIIA as a premier center for Ayurvedic research and treatment.
  • AIIA Goa, located on a 50-acre campus, mirrors its Delhi counterpart and aims to provide advanced preventive, diagnostic, and tertiary healthcare facilities.
  • Mahendrabhai notes AIIA Goa’s global recognition in Ayurveda within its first year.
  • AIIA signs an MoU with Public Sector Undertaking Andrew Yule & Co. Ltd for tea research, emphasizing the potential for innovations in the wellness sector.
  • Sonowal anticipates AIIA Goa’s role in boosting medical tourism, particularly with Goa’s status as a global tourist hub.

3. “India Targets 22,480 MW Nuclear Power Capacity by 2031-32, Aims for Net Zero Economy by 2070”

  • The Indian government announces plans to achieve an installed nuclear power capacity of 22,480 Mega Watts by 2031-32, a significant increase from the current capacity of 7,480 MW.
  • Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office, Dr. Jitendra Singh, reveals the government’s initiatives to enhance nuclear power capacity in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh.
  • The expansion is viewed as a strategic move to support the country’s energy transition, aligning with the goal of achieving a net-zero economy by 2070.
  • The written reply in the Lok Sabha emphasizes the government’s commitment to advancing nuclear power capabilities to meet the growing energy demands and environmental objectives.
  • The projected increase in nuclear power capacity signifies a substantial contribution to India’s energy landscape and its commitment to sustainable development.

4. “Lok Sabha Resumes Debate on Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, 2023 Bill; Proposed Revisions to Penal Code and Legal Procedures”Top of Form

  • Lok Sabha resumes discussions on the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, 2023, along with the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita, 2023, and the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill, 2023.
  • The Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, 2023 aims to replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, introducing community service as a form of punishment.
  • The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita, 2023 seeks to replace the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC), focusing on procedures for arrest, prosecution, and bail.
  • The Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill, 2023 (BSB2) proposes to replace the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, governing the admissibility of evidence in Indian Courts for both civil and criminal proceedings.
  • The bills include provisions for the digitization of the entire legal process, from filing an FIR to the case diary, charge sheet, and judgment.
  • Nishikant Dubey of BJP praises Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic decisions to overhaul the 1860 Indian Penal Code and the Macaulay education system.
  • Asaduddin Owaisi of AIMIM raises concerns about loopholes in the bills that could negatively impact minority and backward classes.
  • Harsimrat Kaur of Shiromani Akali Dal points out discrepancies in the bills, contributing to the ongoing parliamentary discussion

5. “Over 1300 Railway Stations Under Development in Amrit Bharat Station Scheme, Announces Railways Minister”

  • Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw reveals that a total of 1309 railway stations have been earmarked for development under the Amrit Bharat Station scheme.
  • In response to a Lok Sabha query, the Minister states that work has commenced on more than 560 of the selected stations, emphasizing the government’s commitment to infrastructure enhancement.
  • The ministry is actively engaged in formulating traffic plans and master plans to improve connectivity between cities and railways as part of the Amrit Bharat Station scheme.
  • Vaishnaw highlights the significant efforts of the NDA government in expanding the railway network, with 25,000 kilometers of new railway tracks commissioned over the past 9.5 years.
  • Under the present government, a noteworthy achievement is reported, with 14 kilometers of railway tracks being laid per day, showcasing a robust pace of development in the railway sector.

6. “IMF Declares India a Star Performer, Forecasts Contribution of Over 16% to Global Growth”

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) hails India as a star performer, projecting its contribution to global growth to exceed 16%, citing robust growth driven by economic reforms in digitization and infrastructure.
  • India, undergoing its annual Article IV consultation with the IMF, is expected to be among the fastest-growing major economies globally this year, supported by prudent macroeconomic policies.
  • Nada Choueiri, the Mission of India at the IMF, notes India’s role as one of the fastest-growing large emerging markets and highlights the government’s strong commitment to infrastructure investment, crucial for sustainable growth.
  • India’s large, young, and growing population is seen as a potential catalyst for stronger growth if harnessed through structural reforms, according to Choueiri.
  • The IMF’s annual report recommends policy priorities centered on replenishing fiscal buffers, ensuring price stability, maintaining financial stability, and achieving inclusive growth through comprehensive structural reforms while preserving debt sustainability.
  • India’s recent inflation dynamics are noted to deviate from patterns observed in other countries. The country’s robust economic rebound post-pandemic positions it as a significant driver of global growth.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi acknowledges India’s rapid economic growth, emphasizing its positive impact not only on citizens but also on the global economy, citing the IMF’s recognition of India’s stellar performance.
  • IMF – stands for the International Monetary Fund. It is an international financial institution established in 1944 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., USA. The IMF’s primary purpose is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system—the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries to transact with each other.

7. “Union Minister Pralhad Joshi Unveils National Geoscience Data Repository and Critical Minerals Roadshow in New Delhi”

  • Union Minister Pralhad Joshi inaugurates the National Geoscience Data Repository (NGDR) and a Roadshow on Critical Minerals in New Delhi.
  • The NGDR Portal integrates 35 map services and data layers, offering geological maps, geochemical information, ground and airborne geophysical data, and mineral data layers.
  • The portal, accessible at geodataindia.gov.in, provides free viewing, access, and download of robust geoscience data with various layers of geoscientific information.
  • Minister Joshi announces the auction of 20 mineral blocks in the first tranche, highlighting the importance of the auction’s success for revenue generation, job creation, local community welfare, and fostering collaboration among industry, academia, and government.
  • Emphasis is placed on the NGDR Portal’s role in strengthening the supply chain of critical minerals.
  • The Minister had previously launched the first tranche of the auction of 20 critical and strategic mineral blocks last month, and the roadshow on critical minerals aims to disseminate information to industry players, potential bidders, and other stakeholders for the initiative’s success.
  • The Roadshow is a crucial initiative by the Ministry of Mines to engage with stakeholders and ensure the auction’s effectiveness in promoting responsible and sustainable mining practices.

8. “I.N.D.I.A. Alliance Meeting in New Delhi: 28 Parties Unanimously Condemn Suspension of Opposition MPs”

  • The Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (I.N.D.I.A.) convenes a meeting in New Delhi, attended by 28 participating political parties.
  • Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, briefing the media post-meeting, highlights the active participation of parties, expressing their perspectives within the alliance committee.
  • A unanimous decision is reached on the future course of action for the alliance, indicating a cohesive approach among the participating parties.
  • The alliance passes a resolution condemning the suspension of opposition MPs in Parliament, with Kharge labeling the suspension as undemocratic.
  • The meeting serves as a platform for collaborative discussions and strategic planning for the I.N.D.I.A. alliance, emphasizing the importance of inclusivity and developmental goals.
  • The resolution against the suspension underscores the alliance’s commitment to democratic values and parliamentary principles.
  • The alliance’s collective stance on key issues reflects a united front in addressing challenges and advocating for the rights and representation of opposition members in the democratic process.

9. “Over 23 Crore Soil Health Cards Distributed to Farmers, Informs Government”

  • The government announces the distribution of 23 crore 58 lakh soil health cards to farmers, highlighting a substantial effort in providing essential agricultural information.
  • The Soil Health Card serves as a crucial tool, offering farmers insights into the nutrient status of their soil and recommending appropriate nutrient dosages for enhancing soil health and productivity.
  • Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister Arjun Munda shares this information in a written reply in the Lok Sabha, emphasizing the government’s commitment to supporting farmers through data-driven initiatives.
  • The minister underscores that guidelines for the implementation of activities related to soil health have been consistently issued to farmers, indicating ongoing efforts to educate and empower them.
  • The Soil Health Management and Soil Health Card Schemes have been in operation since the fiscal year 2014-15, reflecting a sustained commitment to promoting sustainable and informed agricultural practices.
  • The distribution of soil health cards is a crucial step toward ensuring sustainable farming practices and enhancing the overall productivity of agricultural land in the country.

10. “Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav Hails India as Global South’s Voice, Cites COP28 and G20 Declaration”

  • Minister for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav, praises India as the voice of the global south during a press conference in New Delhi.
  • Yadav highlights the significance of India’s role in the recently concluded COP28 and the Delhi Declaration of G20, noting that these events have further solidified India’s image as a reliable model for sustainable development.
  • The Minister emphasizes India’s remarkable economic recovery from the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, asserting that the country is on course to become the third-largest economy globally.
  • Bhupender Yadav credits India’s growing soft power to its rich culture, heritage, and knowledge, acknowledging the country’s influence beyond economic and political realms.
  • The recognition of India as a reliable and influential player in international forums reflects the country’s commitment to global environmental concerns and sustainable development goals.
  • The Minister’s statements underscore India’s growing prominence and positive global image, both economically and environmentally, positioning the nation as a key player in the global discourse on climate change and development.

11. “Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill 2023′ to Replace Cable Television Networks Act 1995, Informs Centre”

  • The Centre announces plans to introduce the ‘Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill 2023,’ intending to replace the existing ‘Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995.’
  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur discloses in a written reply to the Lok Sabha that the new bill aims to streamline the regulatory process, bringing OTT content and digital news under its purview.
  • The draft bill is designed to accommodate emerging technologies and strengthens the self-regulatory regime through the establishment of the Broadcast Advisory Council (BAC).
  • The BAC will serve as the content regulation entity and advisory body for emerging technologies in the broadcasting sector, reflecting the government’s commitment to adapt regulatory frameworks to evolving media landscapes.
  • The proposed legislation signifies a comprehensive approach to regulating broadcasting services, acknowledging the changing dynamics of content consumption in the digital era.
  • The move aligns with global trends in media regulation, recognizing the need for updated frameworks to address the challenges and opportunities presented by technological advancements in the broadcasting industry.

12. “Lok Sabha Passes Central Goods and Services Tax (Second Amendment) Bill”

  • The Lok Sabha approves the Central Goods and Services Tax (Second Amendment) Bill, 2023, which includes provisions to amend the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Act, 2017.
  • The amendment empowers the central government to establish an Appellate Tribunal, with specific changes in age limits for the President and members of the Tribunal.
  • The age limit for the President of the Tribunal is increased from 67 to 70 years, and for members, it is raised from 65 to 67 years. The Tribunal consists of a President, a Judicial member, and two Technical members.
  • The Bill permits the appointment of advocates with a minimum of 10 years of experience as judicial members.
  • The amendment is introduced to align provisions of the CGST Act, 2017, and the Tribunal Reforms Act, 2021, streamlining the administrative process for the operationalization of the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunals.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, during the introduction of the Bill, emphasizes the transformative changes brought about by GST in the economy and explains that the amendment addresses certain aspects of service terms, drawing attention from the Chief Justice of India.
  • Justice Sanjeev Khanna-led committee will oversee the selection process for the President, Technical members, and Judicial members of the Tribunal.
  • Members of various political parties, including BJP, BJD, Shiv Sena, and YSR Congress, contribute to the discussions on the Bill during the proceedings in the Lok Sabha.

International news:

13. “Malaysia Implements Ban on Israeli-flagged Cargo Ships from Port Docking”

  • Malaysia announces a ban on all Israeli-flagged cargo ships from docking at its ports, citing Israel’s actions that disregard basic humanitarian principles during its conflict with Palestinians.
  • Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim declares the decision to impose a maritime ban on vessels affiliated with Israel, with immediate effect.
  • The ban extends to ships en route to Israel, prohibiting them from loading cargo at any port in Malaysia.
  • Malaysia, with about 60 percent of its population being Muslim, does not maintain diplomatic relations with Israel and advocates for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
  • The ban underscores Malaysia’s stance on the Israel-Palestine issue and its commitment to expressing solidarity with the Palestinian cause.
  • The move reflects Malaysia’s diplomatic response to events in the Middle East and aligns with the sentiments of a significant portion of its population.
  • The ban on Israeli-flagged cargo ships highlights Malaysia’s efforts to use its maritime policies to express political and humanitarian concerns on the global stage.
  • Capital of Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur.

Currency – Ringgit.

Language – Malay.

Prime Minister – Anwar Ibrahim.

14.Colorado Supreme Court Rules Donald Trump Ineligible for Presidential Run in 2024 State Primary”

  • Colorado’s Supreme Court, in a landmark decision, rules 4-3 that Donald Trump cannot run for U.S. President in the state’s primary election on March 5, 2024.
  • The ruling cites Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, invoking the insurrection clause, marking the first time this provision has been used to disqualify a presidential candidate.
  • The decision is specific to Colorado and does not apply to other states. Previous attempts to remove Trump from ballots in other states had failed.
  • The court decision overturns an earlier ruling by a Colorado judge, who had stated that the 14th Amendment’s insurrection ban does not apply to presidents since it does not explicitly name them.
  • The ruling is placed on hold pending appeal until next month, allowing time for further legal proceedings.
  • The decision raises constitutional and legal questions about the application of insurrection clauses to presidential candidates and may have broader implications for future elections.
  • The focus of the ruling is on the state’s primary election, where Republican voters will choose their preferred candidate for president, highlighting the state’s autonomy in managing its electoral processes.

15. “Volcano Erupts in Iceland, Sends Molten Lava into the Sky After Weeks of Seismic Activity”

  • A volcano erupts in Iceland on the Reykjanes peninsula, just north of the town Grindavik, with geysers of molten lava shooting into the sky.
  • The eruption follows weeks of heightened seismic activity in the region, southwest of Reykjavik, putting the area on high alert.
  • The Icelandic Meteorological Office confirms that the eruption began after a series of small shakes, and while the intensity has stabilized, the duration of the activity remains uncertain.
  • President Gudni Thorlacius Johannesson emphasizes the priority of protecting lives and infrastructure, stating that they are waiting to see the course of nature’s forces.
  • Vidir Reynisson, Head of the Department of Civil Protection, urges people to stay away from the area, emphasizing that it is not a tourist-friendly eruption.
  • The anticipation of the eruption led authorities to evacuate thousands of people and close the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, known for its turquoise waters.
  • The volcanic activity underscores the dynamic geological landscape of Iceland, where volcanic eruptions are not uncommon, and authorities take precautionary measures to ensure public safety.

Sports:

16. “National Sports Awards 2023 Announced: Badminton Duo Chirag Shetty and Satwik Rankireddy to Receive Khel Ratna”

  • The Government announces the National Sports Awards 2023, with badminton players Chirag C Shetty and Satwik Sai Raj Rankireddy receiving the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.
  • Twenty-six sportspersons are set to receive the Arjuna Awards, including athletes, archers, boxers, chess players, cricketers, equestrians, golfers, hockey players, kabaddi players, kho-kho player, lawn bowls player, shooters, squash player, table tennis player, wrestlers, wushu player, and a para canoeing player.
  • Wrestling coach Lalit Kumar, chess coach R. B. Ramesh, para athletics coach Mahaveer Prasad Saini, hockey coach Shivendra Singh, and mallakhamb coach Ganesh Prabhakar Devrukhkar will be honored with the Dronacharya Award in the regular category.
  • Golf coach Jaskirat Singh Grewal, kabaddi coach Bhaskaran E, and table tennis coach Jayanta Kumar Pushilal will receive the Dronacharya Award in the lifetime category.
  • Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports and Games will be presented to Manjusha Kanwar for badminton, Vineet Kumar Sharma for hockey, and Kavitha Selvaraj for kabaddi.
  • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2023 will be awarded to Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, as the overall winning university.
  • The awards ceremony is scheduled to take place at Rashtrapati Bhavan on the 9th of the next month, with President Droupadi Murmu presenting the awards.
  • The selection committee, headed by retired Supreme Court Justice A. M. Khanwilkar, considered a large number of applications and nominations received through the online portal for the awards this year.

17. “Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur Congratulates Savita Punia and Hardik Singh on FIH Awards”

  • Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur extends congratulations to Savita Punia, the Indian Women’s Hockey team goalkeeper, for winning the FIH Goalkeeper of the Year for the third consecutive time.
  • Thakur praises Savita as the “unsurpassable wall” of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team, highlighting her exceptional goalkeeping skills and transformative impact on the team’s performance.
  • The Minister acknowledges Savita’s passion and sincerity toward the game, considering her an inspiration to all aspiring players. He commends her leadership and determination in guiding the team.
  • Thakur wishes Savita and the entire squad success for the upcoming journey, recognizing their achievements in the field of hockey.
  • Anurag Singh Thakur also congratulates Hardik Singh on winning the 2023 FIH Player of the Year (Male) Award.
  • He applauds Hardik’s precision in passes, ability to orchestrate attacks, and his role in inspiring the next generation of hockey stars with grit and determination.
  • The accolades for Savita Punia and Hardik Singh contribute to India’s growing recognition and success in the field of international hockey.

18.South Africa Defeats India by Eight Wickets in Second ODI; Tony de Zorzi Declared Player of the Match”

  • In Men’s Cricket, South Africa secures an eight-wicket victory over India in the second ODI at St George’s Park in Gqeberha.
  • Chasing a target of 212 runs set by India, South Africa comfortably reaches 215 for two wickets in 42.3 overs.
  • Tony de Zorzi emerges as the highest scorer for the hosts, remaining not out with 119 runs off 122 balls. He is declared the player of the match.
  • South Africa wins the toss and opts to field, restricting India to 211 runs as they are all out in 46.2 overs.
  • India had previously defeated South Africa by eight wickets in the opening ODI of the three-match series in Johannesburg.
  • The third ODI of the series is scheduled to take place at Boland Park, Paarl, tomorrow, marking the final match of the series.
  • Capital of South Africa – Pretoria (administrative); Cape Town (legislative); Bloemfontein (judiciary)

Currency – Rand.

Language – Afrikaans, English, Southern Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu

  • Prime Minister – Cyril Ramaphosa

19. “Maharashtra Clinches Women’s Title, AAI Triumphs in Men’s Category at 75th Inter State-Inter Zonal Badminton Championship 2023”

  • Maharashtra emerges victorious in the women’s team event, while Airport Authority of India (AAI) secures the men’s team title at the 75th Inter State-Inter Zonal Badminton Championship 2023 in Guwahati.
  • The national championship, organized by the Badminton Association of India, returns to Assam after a four-year hiatus.
  • AAI dominates in both the men’s and women’s team finals, claiming the men’s title by defeating Karnataka 3-0.
  • In the women’s team event final, Maharashtra dominates AAI 3-0, showcasing impressive performances from Shruti Mundada, Alisha Naik, and the doubles pair of Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker.
  • The individual events are scheduled to commence tomorrow, with finals set to be played on Sunday.
  • Capital of Maharastra – Mumbai

Chief Minister –Eknath Shinde.

Governor – Ramesh Bais.

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