Current Affairs Jan 16, 2024

Current Affairs Jan 16, 2024


National news:

1)Smt Droupadi Murmu inaugurates 5th Meghalaya Games in Tura, Meghalaya. Significance: First time the President of India inaugurates the event.

  • Focus on Tribal Talent: President emphasizes support for talent from tribal areas. Recognition of the potential for tribal athletes to become professional sportspersons.
  • Shift to Tura Venue: Departure from Shillong as the exclusive location for Meghalaya Games. Historical significance of hosting the 5th edition in Tura.
  • Introduction of Traditional Indigenous Games: 5th Edition incorporates traditional indigenous games into the lineup. Promoting cultural diversity and preserving local sporting heritage.
  • Multiple Historical Milestones: Unique edition with first-time Tura hosting, traditional games, and presidential inauguration. Reflects the evolving and inclusive nature of Meghalaya Games.
  • National Recognition for Meghalaya Sports: President’s presence underscores the national significance of the event. Highlights Meghalaya’s growing role in the Indian sports landscape.
  • Droupadi Murmu’s Vision for Sports: President Murmu’s address underscores the importance of sports development. Encourages a vision for nurturing talent and promoting sports at the grassroots level.
  • Diversification of Sports Culture: Inclusion of indigenous games broadens the spectrum of sports culture. Fosters a sense of pride and inclusivity among diverse communities.
  • Symbolic Start to 5th Meghalaya Games: Inauguration by the President symbolizes the nation’s commitment to sports development. Sets a precedent for future editions, reinforcing the event’s stature.

2) PM Modi Inaugurates NACIN Campus in Andhra Pradesh:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the new campus of the National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes & Narcotics (NACIN) at Palasamudram, Andhra Pradesh’s Sri Sathya Sai district.
  • Scheduled for January 16, the event marks a significant boost to the region’s educational infrastructure.
  • NACIN, spread over 500 acres, is dedicated to capacity building in indirect taxation and narcotics control administration.
  • The world-class training institute will cater to officials from the Indian Revenue Service (Custom & Indirect Taxes), central allied services, state governments, and partner nations.
  • Represents a crucial step towards enhancing training facilities for officials involved in customs, indirect taxes, and narcotics control administration.
  • The inauguration aligns with the government’s commitment to strengthening educational and training infrastructure for administrative services.
  • NACIN’s expanded campus underscores the nation’s focus on skill development and capacity building in critical areas of governance.

3) Kerala’s Operation Amrith Against Antimicrobial Resistance:

  • The Kerala Drug Control Department initiates Operation Amrith to combat the rising threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
  • Operation Amrith stands for “Antimicrobial Resistance Intervention For Total Health.”
  • Aims to address the overuse of antibiotics by conducting surprise raids in pharmacies, specifically targeting over-the-counter (OTC) sales of antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription.
  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) refers to the ability of bacteria and microbes to resist drugs, posing a significant global health threat.
  • AMR, termed a “silent pandemic,” caused around 5 million deaths globally in 2019, with 1.3 million directly attributed to it.
  • The proactive initiative in Kerala aligns with global efforts to control and prevent the misuse of antibiotics.
  • Focus on enhancing awareness, regulation, and enforcement to ensure responsible use of antibiotics for public health.
  • Represents a crucial step in safeguarding public health by addressing the misuse and over-the-counter availability of antibiotics.

4) ‘Samavesha’ Initiative by I-STEM to Transform Research Collaboration:

  • I-STEM’s Groundbreaking Initiative: The Indian Science, Technology, and Engineering facilities Map (I-STEM) announces the ‘Samavesha’ initiative to revolutionize research collaboration in India.
  • Led by Principal Scientific Advisor: Spearheaded by the Office of Principal Scientific Advisor, Government of India, ‘Samavesha’ aims to facilitate easier access to scientific facilities and laboratories across the country.
  • Inauguration at IISc, Bengaluru: The inauguration ceremony is set to take place at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru, a prestigious institution at the forefront of scientific research.
  • Optimizing Research Resources: ‘Samavesha’ core objective is to optimize the utilization of research resources on a nationwide scale, fostering a collaborative and inclusive research environment.
  • Enhancing Access to Scientific Facilities: The initiative focuses on enhancing accessibility to scientific facilities and laboratories, fostering a culture of collaborative research and innovation.
  • National Scale Events in 2024: I-STEM plans to conduct approximately 50 ‘Samavesha’ events across India in 2024, creating opportunities for researchers and scientists to connect and collaborate.
  • Promoting Interdisciplinary Research: ‘Samavesha’ aims to break barriers between different disciplines, promoting interdisciplinary research collaborations for addressing complex scientific challenges.
  • Catalyzing Scientific Advancements: The initiative is expected to catalyze scientific advancements by providing a platform for researchers to leverage diverse expertise and resources available across the nation.


Defence:  Historic ‘Ex-Ayutthaya’ Naval Exercise:

  • Indian Navy and Royal Thai Navy (RTN) collaborate in the maiden bilateral exercise ‘Ex-Ayutthaya’ in December 2023.
  • ‘Ex-Ayutthaya’ translates to ‘The Invincible One,’ highlighting historical and cultural ties between Ayodhya in India and Ayutthaya in Thailand.
  • Maritime collaboration signifies the invincible spirit, connecting the ancient cities of Ayodhya and Ayutthaya.
  • Indian Naval ships Kulish and IN LCU 56 participate in the inaugural edition, showcasing joint naval capabilities.
  • His Thai Majesty’s Ship (HTMS) Prachuap Khiri Khan represents the Royal Thai Navy in the bilateral exercise.
  • Exercise emphasizes fostering strong naval ties, mutual understanding, and cooperation between India and Thailand.
  • The symbolic connection between Ayodhya and Ayutthaya adds cultural and historical depth to the naval collaboration.
  • Represents a significant step in strengthening diplomatic and defense relations between India and Thailand.

Bankings news: Yes Bank Launches SmartFin for MSMEs:

  • Yes Bank introduces SmartFin, an advanced digital Supply Chain Finance (SCF) platform, in a strategic move to support Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
  • Developed in collaboration with Veefin Solutions, SmartFin reflects Yes Bank’s commitment to innovation and digital advancements, particularly in working capital efficiencies.
  • SmartFin, powered by Veefin Solutions, offers an end-to-end digital SCF platform for MSMEs.
  • The platform aims to enhance operational and financial efficiencies for all stakeholders involved in the supply chain.
  • This initiative aligns with Yes Bank’s dedication to fostering the growth and development of MSMEs by providing innovative financial solutions.
  • SmartFin is designed to streamline and digitize the supply chain finance processes, contributing to the ease of doing business for MSMEs.
  • The move signifies a proactive approach by Yes Bank to leverage digital technology for supporting and empowering the MSME sector.


1)Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation surges to a nine-month high of 0.73% in December 2023, rebounding from negative levels observed from April to October.

  • The positive trajectory, following November’s 0.26%, is primarily attributed to significant increases in food prices, as reported by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • Notable contributors to the spike in WPI inflation include food articles, machinery & equipment, other manufacturing, other transport equipment, and computer, electronics & optical products.
  • The rebound in WPI reflects a recovery in economic activity and prices after a prolonged period of negative inflation.
  • The Ministry’s statement underscores the impact of rising costs in various sectors, indicating potential challenges for policymakers in managing inflationary pressures.
  • The data suggests a dynamic economic landscape, highlighting the need for a nuanced approach to monitor and address inflationary trends.


Important day:  National Startup Day Proclaimed by PM Modi (2021):

  • Historic Declaration (2021):
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi designates January 16 as National Startup Day, signifying India’s commitment to nurturing the thriving startup ecosystem.
  • Significance of the Day:
  • National Startup Day holds immense importance, providing a dedicated platform to celebrate and recognize the achievements of India’s startup community.

Rank and index:  Strides in Poverty Alleviation: NITI Aayog Report (2022):

  • Remarkable Progress: NITI Aayog report reveals that 24.82 crore people in India have successfully moved out of multidimensional poverty from 2013-14 to 2022-23.
  • Substantial Decline: Multidimensional poverty reduces significantly from 29.17% to 11.28% during the stated period, showcasing a substantial decline.
  • Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI): MPI assesses deprivations in health, education, and standard of living, utilizing 12 sustainable development goals-aligned indicators.
  • State-level Achievements: Uttar Pradesh leads at the state level with 5.94 crore people escaping poverty, followed by Bihar at 3.77 crore and Madhya Pradesh at 2.30 crore.
  • Comprehensive Improvements: All 12 indicators, covering nutrition, mortality rates, education, and more, witness significant improvements, contributing to the overall decline in multidimensional poverty.
  • Health and Education Impact: The decline in poverty is attributed to improvements in health and education outcomes, reflecting positive strides in human development.
  • Aligned with Sustainable Development Goals: Progress aligns with the sustainable development goals, emphasizing a holistic approach towards poverty alleviation.
  • Implications for Policy: The report underscores the success of poverty alleviation policies and highlights areas where continued efforts are needed for sustained progress.
  • Positive Impact on Standard of Living: The substantial reduction in multidimensional poverty indicates a positive impact on the standard of living for a significant portion of the population.


Agreement news: India Secures Lithium Blocks in Argentina:

  • Strategic Move: India secures exploration and development rights for five lithium blocks in Argentina, marking a significant step in reducing its ₹24,000 crore lithium import dependency.
  • Second International Foray: This development follows India’s earlier partnership with Australia in 2022, representing its second international venture into critical minerals.
  • Reducing Dependency on China: The move aims to reduce India’s dependence on lithium imports, a significant portion of which is sourced from China.
  • Khanij Bidesh India Ltd. (KABIL): Exploration and Exclusivity Rights granted to KABIL for five lithium brine blocks in Argentina, covering approximately 15,703 hectares.
  • Key Blocks: The specific lithium blocks secured include Cortadera-I, Cortadera-VII, Cortadera-VIII, Cateo-2022-01810132, and Cortadera-VI.
  • Strategic Resource Management: India’s focus on critical minerals aligns with strategic resource management, essential for advancing technology and sustainable development.
  • Diversification of Supply Chain: Securing lithium exploration rights abroad supports the diversification of India’s supply chain for essential minerals, ensuring a stable and sustainable resource base.
  • Economic Implications: The move has economic implications, potentially boosting India’s domestic lithium production and contributing to the growth of the electric vehicle sector.

Appointment: Vice Admiral AN Pramod Assumes DGNO Role: Vice Admiral AN Pramod takes charge as Director General Naval Operations (DGNO) on January 15, 2024, in a significant development.

Awards news: Deepa Bhandare: Trailblazer in Maharashtra’s Sugar Industry:

  • Best Environment Officer Award: Deepa Bhandare of Shri Datta Cooperative Sugar Factory in Shirol taluka, Kolhapur, receives the prestigious Best Environment Officer Award.
  • Historic Achievement: Bhandare creates history by becoming the only woman in Maharashtra’s sugar industry to receive this accolade, marking a significant milestone.
  • Award Conferred by VSI Chairman: The award is conferred by VSI Chairman Sharad Pawar, recognizing Bhandare’s exemplary contributions in the field.
  • Commitment to Inclusivity: Bhandare, upon joining the sugar industry, demonstrates commitment to inclusivity by initiating the construction of a ladies’ washroom at the sugar mill.
  • Leadership in Environmental Stewardship: The award highlights Bhandare’s leadership in environmental stewardship, contributing to sustainable practices within the sugar industry.
  • Role in Shaping Industry Practices: Bhandare’s actions go beyond her specific role, shaping industry practices and emphasizing the importance of inclusive facilities and environmental responsibility.

Sports:  ICC Players of the Month – December 2023: Pat Cummins and Deepti Sharma Shine:

  • ICC Men’s Player of the Month – Pat Cummins: Australia’s Pat Cummins earns the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award for December 2023, capping off a stellar year.
  • Exceptional Leadership and Bowling Prowess: Cummins played a pivotal role in Australia’s Test series triumph against Pakistan, showcasing exceptional leadership skills and bowling prowess.
  • ICC Women’s Player of the Month – Deepti Sharma: India’s Deepti Sharma makes history by winning her maiden ICC Women’s Player of the Month award for December.
  • All-round Excellence Across Formats: Deepti Sharma’s outstanding performances across all three formats, particularly against England and Australia, contribute to her well-deserved recognition.









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