Current Affairs Dec 27, 2023

Current Affairs Dec 27, 2023


National news:

1. “Union Home Minister Amit Shah Declares Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (Masarat Alam Faction) as Unlawful under UAPA”

  • The Masarat Alam faction of Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (MLJK-MA) declared an ‘Unlawful Association’ under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah asserts that the organization and its members are involved in anti-national, secessionist activities, supporting terrorism, and inciting for Islamic rule in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The move reflects the government’s commitment to national unity, sovereignty, and integrity, with a stern warning that those acting against these principles will face legal consequences.
  • Amit Shah, through a social media post, emphasizes the government’s determination to address any threat to the nation’s unity, sending a clear message that offenders will face the full wrath of the law.
  • Capital Jammu and Kashmir – Srinagar and Jammu.

Lieutenant Governor – Manoj Sinha.


2. “India’s EAM S. Jaishankar Holds Talks with Russian Counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow; Emphasizes Strong Bilateral Relations and Record Trade Levels”

  • External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar meets Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, discussing various issues, including the Indo-Pacific, Ukraine, and the Israel-Gaza conflict.
  • Both leaders sign a Protocol on Consultations for 2024-28, focusing on economic cooperation, energy trade, connectivity, military-technical cooperation, and people-to-people exchanges.
  • Jaishankar highlights the robust and steady nature of India-Russia relations, emphasizing their strategic convergence and mutually beneficial geopolitical interests.
  • Trade between India and Russia reaches an all-time high, surpassing $50 billion in turnover last year, characterized by balance, sustainability, and fair market access.
  • Discussions cover the international situation, development challenges for the Global South, multilateralism, and multipolarity.
  • Expectation of strong Russian participation at the Vibrant Gujarat meeting in January, including the presence of Governors from the far East.
  • Lavrov underscores the historic and consistent progress in India-Russia ties, unaffected by political fluctuations, and strengthened through joint stands at the UN, SCO, and BRICS.
  • Agreements include cooperation on the International North-South Transport corridor and a legal framework for mutual protection of investments.
  • Positive strides made in resuming and expediting India-Eurasian Economic Union FTA talks scheduled for the second half of January 2024.
  • Two important amendments signed for further implementation of Kudankulam nuclear power projects in India.
  • Capital of Russia – Moscow.

Currency – Ruble.

Language – Russian.

President – Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

3. “Government Raises MSP for Copra in 2024, Ensuring Better Returns for Coconut Growers”

  • MSP raised by Rs 300 per quintal for milling copra, Rs 250 per quintal for ball copra.
  • Milling copra MSP (2024-25): Rs 11,160 per quintal (51.84% margin).
  • Ball copra MSP (2024-25): Rs 12,000 per quintal (63.26% margin).
  • Aimed at providing remunerative returns; well above 1.5 times the all-India weighted average cost of production.
  • Government procured over 1.33 lakh metric tonnes in the current season (2023).
  • Cost: Rs 1,493 crore, benefiting 90 thousand farmers.
  • Indicates a significant 227% rise over the previous season.
  • Approval for a 4.56 km, six-lane Bridge across River Ganga connecting Digha and Sonepur in Bihar.
  • Project cost: Over Rs 3,064 crore; to enhance traffic flow and contribute to North Bihar’s development.
  • Approval for the improvement and widening of the 135-kilometer stretch of Khowai-Harina road in Tripura.
  • Project cost: Over Rs 2,486 crore, including a Rs 1,511 crore loan from JICA.
  • Envisaged to facilitate better road connectivity in Tripura and provide an alternative route to Assam and Meghalaya from Tripura, complementing NH-8
  • The Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a form of agricultural price support policy implemented by the government to ensure that farmers receive a fair and remunerative price for their produce. MSP is essentially the minimum price at which the government agrees to purchase the agricultural commodities from the farmers, thereby providing a safety net and assuring farmers of a minimum income for their produce.

4. “Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra (VBSY) Reaches Delhi: BJP President J P Nadda and Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi Attend PM Modi’s Virtual Samwad Program”

  • Aims to disseminate information about Central Government’s flagship schemes, reaching various areas of Delhi.
  • Focus on creating awareness and ensuring benefits of schemes like PM-Ujjwala Yojana, PM-Ayushman Bharat, and Aadhaar service center reach all corners.
  • BJP national President J P Nadda, Union Ministers Rajeev Chandrasekhar, and Meenakshi Lekhi attend the virtual Samwad Program of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Mehram Nagar in Delhi Cantt.
  • Meenakshi Lekhi praises government schemes and criticizes the previous government for not providing essential services to the common people.
  • BJP MP Manoj Tiwari attends VBSY camp at Yamuna Vihar in North East Delhi.
  • Gas connections distributed to beneficiaries under PM-Ujjwala Yojana.
  • Beneficiary Nushrat Fatima expresses gratitude to the central government for the gas connection.
  • Participants at the event take an oath to make India a developed nation by 2047.
  • Displaying Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message through screens.
  • Distribution of brochures and calendars to the people to further inform about government initiatives.
  • Chief Minister of New Delhi – Arvind Kejriwal.

Lieutenant Governor – Shri Vinay Kumar Saxena.

5. “Government Launches Six SAMARTH-Curated Training Programs on iGOT Karmayogi Platform for State Government Officials”

  • Government launches six SAMARTH-curated training programs on the iGOT Karmayogi Platform for State Government officials.
  • Aimed at elevating the skills and competencies of government officials to meet the evolving needs of governance.
  • iGOT Karmayogi is a comprehensive online learning platform for capacity-building of government officials.
  • Currently, more than 28 lakh learners from across the government spectrum are registered on this platform.
  • The training programs seek to enhance the capabilities of government officials to effectively contribute to governance.
  • Focus on keeping officials well-equipped to address the dynamic challenges in public service.
  • iGOT Karmayogi combines six functional hubs:
  • Online learning
  • Competency management
  • Career management
  • Discussions
  • Events
  • Networking
  • The initiative reflects the government’s commitment to continuous learning and skill development for public servants.
  • A step toward ensuring that government officials are equipped with the necessary skills to serve the public effectively.
  • “SAMARTH” refers to the System for Assessment, Awareness & Training for Holistic Development, an initiative or program aimed at enhancing the skills and competencies of government officials in India. SAMARTH is designed to contribute to the capacity-building journey of government officials by providing a comprehensive online learning platform.

6. “PM Modi to Chair Three-Day National Conference of Chief Secretaries, Focus on ‘Ease of Living'”

  • Three-day-long National Conference of Chief Secretaries begins in New Delhi.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the conference on the second and third days.
  • Driven by the Prime Minister’s vision to implement cooperative federalism.
  • Aims to encourage participative governance and strengthen the partnership between the Centre and State Governments.
  • The third such conference; the first held in June 2022 in Dharamshala, and the second in January of the current year in Delhi.
  • More than 200 participants, including representatives of the Central Government, Chief Secretaries, and senior officials from all States and Union Territories.
  • The central theme of the conference is ‘Ease of Living.’
  • Emphasis on developing and implementing a common development agenda and blueprint for cohesive action in partnership with the States.
  • Discussion on five sub-themes: Land and Property, Electricity, Drinking Water, Health, and Schooling.
  • Special sessions on ‘Cyber Security,’ ‘Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence,’ ‘Aspirational Block and District Programme,’ ‘Rationalisation of Schemes and Autonomous entities,’ and ‘Enhancing Capital Expenditure and Artificial Intelligence in Governance.’
  • Deliberations on Drug De-addiction and rehabilitation, Amrit Sarovar, Tourism Promotion, Branding and Role of States, PM Vishwakarma Yojana, and PM SVANidhi.
  • Presentation of best practices from States and UTs under each theme for potential replication and adaptation.

7. “EAM S Jaishankar Holds Productive Talks on Bilateral Economic Cooperation with Russian Deputy PM Denis Manturov in Moscow”

  • External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar holds a comprehensive and productive meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov in Moscow.
  • Discussions focus on India-Russia bilateral economic cooperation, highlighting progress in trade, finance, connectivity, energy, civil aviation, and nuclear domains.
  • Dr. Jaishankar appreciates the increased focus on exploring new opportunities in various dimensions of bilateral cooperation.
  • Ministers discuss the need to make bilateral cooperation more balanced and sustainable in different dimensions.
  • Finalization of the program of cooperation in the Russian Far East.
  • Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU)-India FTA Negotiations:
  • Agreement to hold early meetings of EaEU-India FTA negotiators.
  • India and Russia to jointly organize connectivity events across land and maritime corridors.
  • Both Ministers witness the signing of agreements on nuclear power and in areas of medicines, pharmaceutical substances, and medical devices.
  • Dr. Jaishankar and Mr. Manturov visit the Russian Industry and Trade exhibition.
  • Dr. Jaishankar highlights the exhibition as an interesting exposition of Russia’s contemporary capabilities, holding promise for greater collaboration between the two countries.
  • Capital of Russia – Moscow.

Currency – Ruble.

Language – Russian.

President – Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.


8. “President Murmu Emphasizes Organ Donation Awareness and Preventive Healthcare at ILBS Convocation”

  • President Droupadi Murmu emphasizes the need for large-scale awareness campaigns on organ donation during the ninth convocation of the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) in New Delhi.
  • Highlights the deprivation of transplant opportunities for patients due to the insufficient availability of organs.
  • Addresses unethical practices related to organ donation, emphasizing the responsibility of an aware society to address these issues.
  • Stresses the importance of paying more attention to preventive healthcare, highlighting the liver’s crucial role in overall health.
  • Describes the liver as the “security guard of the body.”
  • Expects ILBS to make a significant contribution to the prevention of liver diseases.
  • Commends ILBS for its achievements, including over a thousand liver transplants and around 300 renal transplants.
  • Advises healthcare professionals, amidst challenges like long duty hours and continuous emergency cases, to prioritize their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
  • Acknowledges ILBS’s reputation for world-class efficiency and integrity within just 13 years.
  • Highlights India’s emergence as an international healthcare hub, providing top-notch services at relatively lower costs.
  • Notes revolutionary changes in healthcare due to the integration of life sciences and modern information technology.
  • Appreciates ILBS’s initiative in establishing the Artificial Intelligence Learning Unit.
  • Encourages ILBS to continue its work in research alongside providing treatment, recognizing the importance of advancements in medical science.

9. “NCC Organizes Mega Cyclothon to Celebrate 75th Anniversary”

  • To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the National Cadet Corps (NCC), a Mega Cyclothon is organized by the Director General NCC.
  • The cyclothon involves 14 NCC Girl cadets led by Col Anjan Sengupta from NCC Directorate UP, covering a distance of 2107 km from Guwahati to New Delhi on cycles.
  • The rally traverses through the states of Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh, culminating at New Delhi on January 28, 2023.
  • The All-Girls team has completed 300 km in Assam and entered West Bengal, reaching Cooch Behar on December 26, 2023.
  • After Cooch Behar, the rally will pass through Jalpaiguri and Siliguri in West Bengal before entering Bihar.
  • The Mega Cyclothon’s West Bengal leg is coordinated by Darjeeling & Sikkim Group of West Bengal & Sikkim Directorate.
  • The Mega Cyclothon was flagged in at Cooch Behar Military Station on December 26, 2023.
  • Local cadets from educational institutions joined the Cyclothon Team, and a warm reception was accorded at Cooch Behar Military Station.
  • A central cultural program was organized, featuring a skit on ‘Women Empowerment’ presented by cadets, conveying a social message.


International news:

10. “Sweden Nears NATO Membership as Turkish Parliament Panel Approves Bid”

  • Turkish parliament’s foreign affairs commission approves Sweden’s NATO membership bid, bringing Sweden closer to becoming a NATO member.
  • Approval comes after 19 months of delay, during which Ankara demanded security-related concessions from Stockholm.
  • Turkish President Erdogan objected in May 2022, alleging that Sweden provided protection to individuals deemed terrorists by Turkey.
  • In response to objections, Sweden introduced a new anti-terrorism bill criminalizing membership in a terrorist organization.
  • Sweden’s NATO bid will now face a vote in the Turkish parliament, where Erdogan’s party holds a majority.
  • Turkey’s previous objection to Sweden’s bid delayed the process, and this approval marks a significant step forward.
  • Turkey ratified Finland’s NATO bid in April but delayed Sweden’s membership.
  • NATO requires unanimous approval from existing members for the inclusion of a new country.
  • Only Turkey and Hungary have been holding out on Sweden’s NATO bid.
  • Hungary accuses Swedish politicians of making false claims about Hungary’s democracy, further complicating Sweden’s bid.
  • Capital of Swedon- Stockholm.

Currency – Krona.

Language – Swedish.

Prime Minister – Ulf Kristersson.

11. “Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Declares Nawaz Sharif as Prime Ministerial Candidate for General Elections”

  • Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) declares former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as its prime ministerial candidate for the upcoming General Elections.
  • Nawaz Sharif chosen as the consensus candidate of the party, seeking a fourth term in the Prime Minister’s office.
  • Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan in October after four years in self-imposed exile in London, evading corruption-related prison sentences.
  • Sharif’s convictions and sentences were overturned on appeal, making him eligible to participate in the parliamentary elections scheduled for February 8.
  • Sharif files nominations from National Assembly (NA)-130 Lahore against PTI’s Dr Yasmin Rashid and 22 other candidates.
  • Submits nomination papers for National Assembly-15 Mansehra.
  • Nawaz Sharif’s entry adds to the political dynamics as parties gear up for the upcoming General Elections.
  • The parliamentary elections are scheduled for February 8.
  • Capital of Pakistan – Islamabad.

Currency – Pakistani Rupee.

Language – Urdu, English.

12. “Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority Lifts Operational Ban on TEPCO’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Power Plant”

  • Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) lifts the operational ban imposed on Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power plant after two years.
  • Lifted ban clears the path for TEPCO to resume the process towards restarting the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power plant.
  • Despite the lifting of the ban, resumption still requires local consent in Niigata prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast.
  • The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power plant has a capacity of 8,212 megawatts (MW).
  • It has been offline since around 2011, following the Fukushima disaster, which led to the shutdown of all nuclear power plants in Japan at that time.
  • NRA cites improvements in the safety management system as the reason for lifting the corrective action order.
  • The order had prevented TEPCO from transporting new uranium fuel to the plant or loading fuel rods into its reactors, effectively blocking a resumption.
  • The decision on local consent will play a crucial role in determining the future operational status of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power plant.
  • Capital of Japan – Tokyo.

Currency – Yen.

Language – Japanese.

Prime Minister –  Fumio Kishida.



13. “IOA Forms Ad Hoc Committee to Supervise Wrestling Federation of India Operations”

  • Indian Olympic Association (IOA) forms an Ad Hoc committee to supervise the operations of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).
  • Bhupinder Singh Bajwa appointed as Chairman.
  • MM Somaya and Manjusha Kanwar named as Members.
  • The committee is tasked with observing and supervising WFI operations.
  • It will handle responsibilities related to athlete selection and submitting entries for international events.
  • IOA cites arbitrary decisions by recently appointed WFI President and officials in violation of constitutional provisions.
  • Officials are accused of overturning rulings of the IOA-appointed ad hoc committee without following due process.
  • IOA’s order emphasizes a governance gap within WFI and a noticeable departure from established norms.
  • Formation of the Ad Hoc committee aims to address these concerns and ensure proper governance within the federation.



14. “RBI Allows Reversal of Liquidity Facilities Under SDF and MSF on All Days, Effective December 30″

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announces that the reversal of liquidity facilities under both Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) and Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) is available on an overnight basis on all days, including Sundays and holidays, effective from December 30.
  • Reversal is permitted only on the next working day in Mumbai.
  • RBI Governor Shaktikant Das had announced that the SDF and MSF reversal facility would remain open all days for deploying and using different tools to manage liquidity, especially in case of inflationary pressures.
  • SDF/MSF bids triggered under the Automated Sweep-In and Sweep-Out (ASISO) facility will now reverse on the next calendar day.
  • In the case of manual bids placed through the e-Kuber portal, eligible entities can choose the tenor at the time of placing the bid.
  • Access to SDF/MSF will continue to be available on all days, including Sundays and holidays.
  • RBI is using Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) as an additional tool to absorb liquidity, especially for controlling inflation.
  • SDF allows RBI to take deposits from commercial banks without compensating them with government securities.


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