Current Affairs Dec 31, 2023 & Jan 01, 2024

Current Affairs Dec 31, 2023 & Jan 01, 2024

DAILY-CURRENT-AFFAIRS-BY-EDUSPRINT

National news:

1. “PM Modi Embarks on Two-Day Visit to Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep; Unveils Multi-Crore Development Projects in Aviation, Rail, Road, and More.”

  • PM Modi attends 38th Convocation Ceremony at Bharathidasan University in Tiruchirappalli.
  • Inaugurates and dedicates projects worth over 19,850 crore rupees in aviation, rail, road, oil and gas, shipping, and higher education sectors.
  • Dedicates multiple railway projects and road sector projects in Tiruchirappalli.
  • Addresses a public function in Agatti, Lakshadweep, on Wednesday.
  • Dedicates and lays foundation stone for development projects in Lakshadweep, including telecommunications, drinking water, solar power, and health initiatives.
  • Unveils the Low Temperature Thermal Desalination plant at Kadmat and the first battery-backed solar power project in Kavaratti.

2. “ISRO Launches XPoSat, India’s Maiden X-ray Polarimeter Satellite, to Study Black Holes and Neutron Stars in Space”

  • XPoSat launched successfully aboard PSLV-C58 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
  • India becomes the second country after the United States to send a dedicated astronomy observatory for studying cosmic X-ray polarization.
  • Mission aims to explore black holes and neutron stars in our galaxy; XPoSat’s primary payload has a mission life of about five years.
  • Ten other scientific payloads from various institutions and companies also launched alongside XPoSat.
  • Visitors gallery at the Space Centre filled with enthusiastic crowds during the first launch of the year, fostering scientific curiosity among students and the public.

3. “PM Modi Encourages Citizens to Participate in JANMAN Survey on NaMo App, Seeking Feedback on India’s Progress Over the Last Decade”

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi urges citizens to share their views on India’s progress in the past ten years through the JANMAN Survey on the NaMo app.
  • Citizens encouraged to provide feedback on government schemes, development works in their constituency, and the performance of Members of Parliament.
  • BJP President J P Nadda emphasizes the importance of public participation in shaping the narrative of New India’s growth story.
  • Survey serves as a platform for people to directly communicate their opinions on the nation’s development to the Prime Minister.
  • Participants invited to use the hashtag #JanManSurvey while sharing their feedback.

4. “Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw Virtually Flags Off Balurghat-Sealdah Express, Announces Over 50,000 Crore Investment for Rail Development in West Bengal”

  • Railways Minister virtually inaugurates Balurghat-Sealdah Express from Balurghat, West Bengal.
  • Announces investment of over 50,000 crore rupees for rail development projects in the state.
  • Highlights ongoing developmental works, including the upgrade of 98 stations in West Bengal.
  • Emphasizes the importance of railway development for the overall progress of the country.
  • Criticizes the state government for hindering 1,408 kilometers of rail projects due to lack of support.
  • Capital of West Bengal – Kolkata.

Chief Minister – Mamata Banerjee.

Governor – Jagdeep Dhankar.

5. “ISRO Chairman S Somanath: India’s Aditya-L1 Solar Mission to Reach Lagrangian Point on January 6, Gearing Up for Gaganyaan in 2025”

  • Aditya-L1, India’s solar mission, set to reach Lagrangian point (L1) on January 6, 1.5 million km from Earth.
  • Final manoeuvre for Aditya-L1’s placement at L1 to be conducted soon, announces ISRO Chairman S Somanath.
  • ISRO has 12 to 14 missions in the pipeline for the year; 2024 focused on preparations for the Gaganyaan mission.
  • Various tests planned before the actual launch of Gaganyaan in 2025, reveals ISRO chief.

6. “10th Phase of Sagar Parikrama Commences from Chennai Port; Union Ministers Rupala and Dr. Murugan Inaugurate Mission”

  • Sagar Parikrama’s tenth phase begins from Chennai Port, inaugurated by Union Ministers Rupala and Dr. Murugan.
  • Mission to traverse Nellore, Visakhapatnam, and Srikakulam, interacting with coastal fishing communities.
  • Ministers to discuss government schemes for fishermen, distribute welfare schemes during the coastal journey.
  • Sagar Parikrama, initiated by PM Narendra Modi, aims to understand and address the challenges faced by the fishing community.

7. “Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy Expresses Hope for PM Modi’s Hat Trick in Upcoming Lok Sabha Elections”

  • Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy expresses optimism about PM Narendra Modi winning a third term in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
  • Remarks made during a live telecast of Maan Ki Baat with BJP leaders in Telangana.
  • Reddy highlights the government’s efforts, led by PM Modi, to elevate India’s global prestige.
  • Credits Modi’s government for implementing welfare programs benefiting the lives of the poor.
  • Calls for the celebration of Pran Prathista of Lord Ram at Ram Janmabhoomi temple on January 22, 2024, urging people to light lamps on that day.

8. “Home Minister Amit Shah: India Tops Global Milk Production with 51% Growth in Last 8 Years”

  • Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah declares India as the world leader in milk production, securing a 24% share.
  • Attributes the 51% increase in milk production in the last 8 years to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.
  • Speaks at the foundation stone laying ceremony for the National Cooperation Dairy Federation of India’s office building in Gujarat.
  • Encourages adoption of the cooperative model for mutual collaboration among banks, milk organizations, and cattle farmers.
  • Highlights the role of cooperative dairies and emphasizes the guidance provided by NCDFI in fostering dairy institutions.
  • Announces the construction of NCDFI’s headquarters in Anand district, costing approximately 32 crore rupees, to be operated through a solar power plant, ensuring a 100% green building

9.  “National Street Food Festival 2023 Concludes at JLN Stadium, New Delhi, Marking India’s First Zero Waste Street Food Festival”

  • Three-day festival organized by the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) successfully concludes.
  • JLN Stadium hosts stalls from 22 Indian states, along with participants from Turkey, Afghanistan, and Nepal.
  • NASVI’s National Coordinator, Arbind Singh, highlights the festival’s success in bringing street food vendors nationwide to the capital city.
  • Emphasizes the significance of being India’s first Zero Waste Street Food Festival.

 

International news:

10. “Japan Drops Highest-Level Tsunami Warning After 7.4 Magnitude Earthquake; Coastal Residents Urged to Stay Away”

  • Japan downgrades tsunami alert but cautions coastal residents against returning home due to potential deadly waves.
  • Initial major tsunami warning issued for Ishikawa and lower-level alerts for other western coast areas.
  • Tsunami waves over a meter high hit central Japan after a series of powerful earthquakes, damaging homes and closing highways.
  • Major 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck the Noto region in Ishikawa prefecture; 21 quakes of 4.0 magnitude or stronger reported in 90 minutes.
  • Indian Embassy in Japan establishes an emergency control room, providing contact numbers and email IDs for Indian citizens.
  • Capital of Japan – Tokyo.

Currency – Yen.

Language – Japanese.

Prime Minister – Fumio Kishida.

11. “Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus Sentenced to 6 Months in Bangladesh for Labor Law Violation”

  • Dhaka court sentences Nobel laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus and three Grameen Telecom officials to six months’ imprisonment for labor law violation.
  • Each convict fined Tk 30,000; default could lead to an additional 25 days of imprisonment.
  • Convicts, including Yunus, granted bail for one month in response to their petitions.
  • Charges framed on June 6, 2023, accusing them of not making 101 workers permanent and violating labor laws related to participation and welfare funds.
  • Criminal case filed under sections 4, 7, 8, 117, 234 of the Labor Act of Bangladesh.
  • Capital of Bangladesh – Dhaka.

Currency – Taka.

Language – Bangla.

Prime Minister – Sheikh Hasina.

12. “BRICS Summit Expands Membership to Include Five New Nations: Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates”

  • Upcoming BRICS summit in Russia to include five new members alongside original founding five, signaling a shift in the global landscape.
  • Argentina withdraws from planned entry into the expanding BRICS club under its new President Javier Milei.
  • Expansion seen as a strategic effort to reshape the global order into a multipolar world, with assertive middle powers challenging the established Western-led order.
  • Saudi Arabia and UAE’s inclusion emphasizes changing dynamics in international relations and the trend towards a more multipolar world.
  • Expansion expected to create new investment opportunities for Saudi Arabia and UAE, showcasing their sustained economic growth and diversification efforts.
  • Despite global uncertainties, Saudi Arabia achieved an impressive annual growth rate of 8.7% in 2022, and the UAE anticipates robust economic performance in 2023 and 2024.

13. “India and Pakistan Exchange Lists of Nuclear Installations and Facilities”

  • India and Pakistan exchange lists of nuclear installations and facilities under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations and Facilities.
  • Exchange carried out through diplomatic channels simultaneously in New Delhi and Islamabad.
  • Agreement signed in 1988 mandates informing each other of covered nuclear installations and facilities on the first of January every year.
  • 33rd consecutive exchange of lists between the two countries, reinforcing the commitment to nuclear non-proliferation.

 

 

Appointments:

14. “Dr. Arvind Panagariya to Chair 16th Finance Commission as Centre Constitutes New Panel”

  • Former NITI Aayog Vice Chairman, Dr. Arvind Panagariya, appointed as Chairman of the 16th Finance Commission.
  • IAS officer Ritvik Ranjanam Pandey named as the secretary of the Commission.
  • Commission tasked with making recommendations on the distribution of net tax proceeds between the Union and States, and measures to enhance State Consolidated Funds for Panchayats and Municipalities.
  • Mandated to review financing arrangements for Disaster Management initiatives and provide recommendations.
  • Report expected by October 31, 2025, covering a five-year period from April 1, 2026.

15. “DR Congo Election: President Tshisekedi Leads with 72% Votes; Opposition Calls for Rerun Amid Logistical Problems”

  • President Félix Tshisekedi holds a commanding lead with about 72% of votes in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s election.
  • Opposition candidates demand a rerun, citing widespread logistical problems during the December 20 election.
  • Logistical issues included late-opening polling stations, malfunctioning voting machines, and long wait times for voters.
  • Election Chief Denis Kadima acknowledges irregularities but asserts that announced results reflect the will of the Congolese people.
  • Opposition plans protests following the full release of election results.
  • Capital of Republic of Congo – Kinshasa.

Currency – Congolese franc.

Language – French.

Prime Minister – Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde Kyenge.

 

16. “North Korea Vows to Launch Three Spy Satellites, Build Military Drones, and Boost Nuclear Arsenal in 2024”

  • Kim Jong Un pledges to launch three new spy satellites, develop military drones, and strengthen North Korea’s nuclear arsenal in 2024.
  • Leader criticizes U.S. policy, stating it makes war inevitable, in remarks concluding ruling party meetings.
  • Orders military to prepare for pacifying the entire territory of South Korea, including the use of nuclear bombs if necessary, in response to any attack.
  • Kim’s speech precedes elections in both South Korea and the United States in the coming year.
  • Capital of North Korea – Pyongyang.

Currency – Won.

Language – Korean.

Premier of the Cabinet – Kim Jong-un.

Sports:

17. “Australian Opener David Warner Announces Retirement from ODIs; Will Remain Available for Champions Trophy 2025”

  • David Warner, two-time ODI World Cup winner, declares retirement from One Day Internationals (ODIs).
  • Initial retirement announcement focused on ending Test career after Australia’s upcoming Test against Pakistan.
  • Warner expresses intention to remain available for selection in the Champions Trophy in 2025.
  • Sixth-highest ODI run-scorer for Australia and second in centuries to former captain Ricky Ponting.
  • Capital of Australia – Canberra.

Currency – Dollar.

Language – English.

Prime Minister – Anthony Norman Albanese.

18. “Dommaraju Gukesh Secures Spot in Men’s Chess Candidates Tournament, Joining R Praggnanandhaa and Vidit Gujrathi”

  • Gukesh becomes the third Indian player to qualify for the prestigious Men’s Chess Candidates tournament in Toronto from April 2 to 25, 2024.
  • This marks the first time in history that three Indians, including R Praggnanandhaa and Vidit Gujrathi, are competing in the Candidates.
  • The winner of the tournament earns the opportunity to challenge China’s Ding Liren in the next World Chess Championship.
  • In the Women’s Candidates, Koneru Humpy and Rameshbabu Vaishali will represent India, with the winner facing China’s Ju Wenjun for the titles.
  • The eight-player event will follow a Round Robin format.

19. “Indian Teenager Anahat Singh Clinches Girls’ Under-19 Title at 2023 Scottish Junior Open Squash”

  • Anahat Singh secures a dominant victory in the girls’ under-19 category at the 2023 Scottish Junior Open squash in Edinburgh.
  • Defeats home favorite Robyn McAlpine with a score of 11-6, 11-1, 11-5 in the final.
  • Anahat Singh concludes a remarkable year, achieving the under-19 and senior National championship double.
  • Also wins mixed doubles bronze with Abhay Singh at the Asian Games and the inaugural Asian Mixed Doubles Championships.
  • Capital of Scotland – Edinburgh.

Currency – Pound Dollar.

Language – Scottish, English.

Prime Minister – Humza Yousaf.

 

Defence:

20. “India and UAE Commence Joint Military Exercise ‘Desert Cyclone 2024’ in Rajasthan”

  • ‘Desert Cyclone 2024’ joint military exercise between India and UAE to be held in Rajasthan from January 2 to January 15.
  • Aims to enhance interoperability and share best practices in urban operations.
  • Reflects the strong bonds of friendship based on cultural, religious, and economic ties between India and the UAE.
  • Potential areas of bilateral cooperation in defense include equipment production, joint exercises, information sharing, and technical cooperation.
  • First-ever India-UAE Joint Air Forces exercise occurred in September 2008 at Al-Dhafra base in Abu Dhabi.
  • Capital of UAE: Abu Dhabi.

Currency: U.A.E. Dirham.

Language: Arabic.

Prime Minister – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Business:

21. “Government Extends PLI Scheme for Auto Industry by One Year with Amendments”

  • The government extends the tenure of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Automobile and Auto Components by one year with partial amendments.
  • Amended scheme applies for five consecutive financial years starting from 2023-24, with incentive disbursement in 2024-25.
  • Approved applicants eligible for benefits for five consecutive financial years but not beyond March 31, 2028.
  • Amendments include provisions to withhold incentives for companies failing to meet the threshold for an increase in Determined Sales Value, ensuring a level playing field.
  • Changes aim to provide clarity and support to the auto sector, fostering growth and competitiveness.

22. “GST Collections Continue Robust Growth, Reach Rs 1.64 Lakh Crore in December, Marking 10.3% Increase YoY”

  • GST revenue collection for December 2023 reaches Rs 1,64,882 crore, marking a 10.3% increase compared to the same month last year.
  • Components include CGST collection of Rs 30,443 crore, SGST of Rs 37,935 crore, IGST of Rs 84,255 crore, and cess of Rs 12,249 crore.
  • Overall GST collection witnesses a robust 12% growth, totaling Rs 14.97 lakh crore in the last nine months, compared to Rs 13.40 lakh crore in the same period in 2022.
  • Average monthly gross GST collection recorded at Rs 1.66 lakh crore in the first nine months of the fiscal year.
  • Government settles over Rs 40,000 crore to CGST and over Rs 33,000 crore to SGST from IGST.

23. “Coal Sector Records 10.9% Growth in December 2023 with Significant Surge in Production”

  • Coal sector achieves 10.9% growth in December 2023, reaching a production of 84.52 million tonnes.
  • The surge in coal production surpasses the 76.16 million tonnes recorded in the same month of the previous year.
  • The Coal Ministry attributes the growth to strategic initiatives, including auction-based regimes for commercial coal mining and reopening discontinued mines on a revenue-sharing model.

 

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