Current Affairs Jan 3, 2024

Current Affairs Jan 3, 2024


National news:

1. “Groundbreaking Moment: 45 Girls from North East to Form First-Ever All-Girl Band at NCC Republic Day Camp 2024.”

  • NCC Republic Day Camp to feature a band of 45 girls from the North East for the first time.
  • Girls aged 13 to 15 to showcase the cultural heritage of the North East and highlight NCC’s nationwide presence.
  • Director General of NCC, Lt Gen Gurbirpal Singh, announces the participation of 2,274 cadets, including a record 907 girls.
  • Camp aims to expose cadets to the nation’s traditions, strengthen values, and promote national integration through cultural exchange programs.
  • 177 cadets from the North East and participants from 25 friendly countries under the Youth Exchange Programme will also join the month-long event.
  • The Seven Sister States is a popular term for the contiguous states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura prior to inclusion of the state of Sikkim into the North Eastern Region of India.

2.”Over 1.64 Crore Ayushman Cards Distributed Nationwide During Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra.”

  • Government distributes Ayushman cards, providing a health cover of five lakh rupees per family annually.
  • Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, launched by PM Narendra Modi in November, covers over 2.6 lakh Gram Panchayats.
  • Nine lakh people gain access to clean cooking fuel under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
  • 6.79 lakh street vendors receive working capital loans through the Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi.
  • Yatra aims to create awareness of government welfare schemes through outreach activities by January 25th.


3. “PM Modi Addresses “Women Power with Modi” Meet in Thrissur, Kerala; Highlights Govt’s Commitment to Women’s Welfare.”

  • PM Modi emphasizes government’s dedication to improving women’s lives during a women’s meet in Thrissur, Kerala.
  • Criticizes LDF and UDF governments in Kerala for delaying women’s reservation laws, accuses them of being the same.
  • NDA’s focus on the poor, youth, farmers, and women highlighted; Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam and end of Triple Talaq mentioned.
  • PM discusses government initiatives benefiting women, including Ujjwala gas connections, toilets, sanitary pads, and increased maternity leave.
  • Conducts a road show in Thrissur with a large gathering; earlier launched and laid the foundation stone for development projects worth 1156 crores in Lakshadweep.
  • PM commits to sustainable development in Lakshadweep, aiming to boost international tourism; notes a fivefold increase in tourist arrivals.
  • Capital of Kerala – Thiruvananthapuram.

Language – Malayalam.

Chief Minister – Pinarayi Vijayan.

Governor – Arif Mohammed Khan.

4. “CCRAS and NCISM Launch ‘SMART 2.0’ Program for Ayurveda Teaching Professionals.”

  • The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) and National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) introduce ‘SMART 2.0.’
  • The program, ‘Scope for Mainstreaming Ayurveda Research among Teaching professionals,’ aims to foster clinical studies in priority areas of Ayurveda through collaboration with academic institutions and hospitals nationwide.
  • DG of CCRAS, Prof (Vd) Rabinarayan Acharya, outlines the study’s focus on safety, tolerability, and adherence to Ayurveda formulations in key research areas like Bal Kasa, Malnutrition, Insufficient lactation, Abnormal Uterine Bleeding, Osteoporosis in post-menopausal women, and Diabetes Mellitus II.
  • CCRAS, functioning under the Ministry of Ayush, serves as the apex organization for research development and promotion of Ayurvedic sciences on scientific lines.

5. “Indian Railways Deploys 20,000 Fog Pass Devices for Smooth Operations in Foggy Weather.”

  • Indian Railways equips around 20,000 fog pass devices to ensure efficient rail operations during foggy weather.
  • Fog pass is a GPS-based navigation device aiding loco pilots in navigating during dense fog conditions.
  • Provides real-time information to loco pilots about the location of fixed landmarks, including signals, level crossing gates, and speed restrictions.
  • Railway Ministry notes the impact of foggy weather on train operations, especially in northern parts during winter.
  • Fog pass devices suitable for speeds up to 160 kilometers per hour, designed to be portable, compact, and lightweight for easy use by loco pilots.

6. “Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri Announces 22 Countries and 12 International Organizations Join Global Biofuel Alliance.”

  • Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri, reveals that 22 countries and 12 international organizations have joined the Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA) initiated by PM Narendra Modi during the G20 Summit.
  • GBA, led by India, aims to foster collaboration among governments, international organizations, and industry to promote the adoption of biofuels for energy transition, job creation, and economic growth.
  • Puri highlights India’s global leadership in the biofuels supply chain and the success of promoting GBA during COP 28 in December.
  • India ranks 3rd in the world for energy consumption, oil consumption, LPG consumption, LNG imports, refining capacity, and automobile market.
  • Ethanol blending in the Ethanol Supply Year 2022-23 saves 509 crore liters of petrol, resulting in foreign exchange savings of over 24,300 crore rupees and prompt payments of about 19,300 crore rupees to farmers.
  • Number of retail outlets retailing Ethanol 20 surpasses 9,300, expected to cover the entire country by 2025.
  • City Gas Distribution (CGD) network grows from 53 in 2014 to 300 in 2023, PNG connections increase from 25.4 lakh to 1.19 crore, and CNG stations rise from 738 to 6,088 since May 2014.

7. “VP Jagdeep Dhankhar to Inaugurate Startup Expo in Kathua, Showcasing Emerging Trends in North India.”

  • Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar is set to inaugurate the Startup Expo in Kathua, featuring 25 startups from Northern States.
  • Six women entrepreneurs will participate, highlighting diversity in the startup landscape.
  • The expo’s theme focuses on emerging startup trends in North India.
  • Union Science and Technology Minister Dr Jitendra Singh emphasizes significant development in startups over the past nine years, with the number growing from about 350 in 2014 to over one lakh.

8. “Countrywide Truckers’ Strike Called Off as Government Assures Consultation on Hit-and-Run Law.”

  • The nationwide truckers’ strike is called off after the government assures consultation on implementing a new law regarding hit-and-run cases.
  • All-India Motor Transport Congress ends the agitation following talks with the government.
  • Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla confirms that new provisions of hit-and-run cases under Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita are not yet implemented.
  • The government commits to discussing the matter with All India Motor Transport Congress representatives before making a decision.
  • The protest was against Section 106(2) of Bharatiya Nyaya Samhita, proposing stricter penalties in hit-and-run cases.
  • The new law suggests up to 10 years in jail and a fine of 7 lakh rupees, compared to the current penalty of up to a two-year jail term and a lighter fine. Truckers and commercial vehicle operators express concernsabout the steep fines.

9. “PM Modi Pays Tributes to Social Reformer Savitri Bai Phule & Queen Rani Velu Nachiyar on Their Jayanti.”

  • PM Narendra Modi honors social reformer Savitri Bai Phule and queen Rani Velu Nachiyar on their Jayanti.
  • Modi acknowledges their compassion and courage, highlighting their invaluable contributions to society and the nation.
  • The Prime Minister shares parts of his Mann Ki Baat program from last month where he paid tributes to Savitri Bai Phule and Rani Velu Nachiyar.


International news:

10. “EAM S Jaishankar Engages in Telephonic Discussion with Ukrainian Counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on Ongoing Conflict.”

  • Dr S Jaishankar holds a productive conversation with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, addressing the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
  • The telephonic exchange follows Jaishankar’s recent five-day visit to Moscow for discussions with Russian leadership.
  • Jaishankar highlights the fruitful nature of the discussion and emphasizes advancing bilateral cooperation in the coming year.
  • Dmytro Kuleba informs Jaishankar of Russia’s recent escalation of terror and mass air attacks, causing civilian suffering and destruction.
  • Kuleba terms the conversation as his first call in 2024, underscoring the significance of diplomatic communication amid regional developments.

11. “EAM Dr. Jaishankar to Co-Chair 7th India-Nepal Joint Commission Meeting in Kathmandu.”

  • External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar embarks on a two-day visit to Nepal to co-chair the 7th meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission.
  • Established in 1987, the Joint Commission provides a platform for both ministers to review all aspects of the bilateral partnership.
  • Dr. Jaishankar, at the invitation of Nepal’s Foreign Minister N.P. Saud, will also call on Nepal’s leadership and meet prominent political figures.
  • Discussions to focus on enhancing understanding based on cordiality and mutual interests in Nepal-India relations.
  • Nepal emphasizes the significance of the relationship, aims to address the trade deficit, improve cross-border infrastructure, and conclude ongoing development projects.
  • The visit reflects the Neighbourhood First policy, with Nepal considered a priority partner, fostering high-level exchanges between the two friendly neighbors.
  • Capital of Nepal – Kathmandu.

Currency – Nepalese Rupee.

Language – Nepali.

Prime Minister – Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

12. “Peshawar High Court Restores ECP Order Stripping PTI of ‘Bat’ Symbol.”

  • The Peshawar High Court reinstates the Election Commission of Pakistan’s order, stripping Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) of its ‘bat’ electoral symbol.
  • The December 22nd order had deemed PTI’s intra-party polls unconstitutional, leading to the loss of the iconic symbol.
  • PTI had initially challenged the verdict, resulting in the High Court suspending the ECP’s order on December 26th.
  • The Election Commission subsequently challenged the High Court verdict.
  • PTI’s Barrister Gohar Khan states the party will move to the apex court after due deliberations.
  • Capital of Pakistan – Islamabad.

Currency – Pakistani rupee.

Language – Urdu; English.

Prime Minister – Anwar ul Haq Kakar.

13. “Hamas Deputy Leader Saleh al-Arouri Killed in Israeli Drone Strike in Beirut.”

  • Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claim to have neutralized the deputy leader of Hamas, Saleh al-Arouri, in a drone strike in Beirut.
  • Hamas confirms the death of its deputy commander.
  • Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati condemns the killing.
  • Al-Arouri, 57, served as the political bureau’s deputy director for Hamas and was considered the de facto head of its military branch in the West Bank.
  • He played a key role in negotiating the release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011 in exchange for over 1,000 Palestinian detainees.
  • Capital of Lebanon – Beirut.

Currency – Lebanese pound.

Language – Arabic, French.

Prime Minister – Najib Mikati.

14. “Two Earthquakes Strike Afghanistan in Less Than 30 Minutes.”

  • Two earthquakes hit Afghanistan last night within a span of less than 30 minutes.
  • The first earthquake had a magnitude of 4.4 and occurred at 12:28 AM local time, 100 km east of Fayzabad.
  • The second quake, with a magnitude of 4.8, struck at 12:55 AM, 126 km east of Fayzabad.
  • No injuries or damage to property reported so far.
  • Capital of Afghanistan – Kabul.

Currency – Afghani.

Language – Dari Persian, Pashto.



15. “Ad Hoc Committee for Wrestling Announces National Championships for U-15 and U-20 Categories.”

  • The Ad Hoc Committee for Wrestling will organize national championships for U-15 and U-20 categories at Lakshmibai National Institute Of Physical Education, Gwalior, within the next six weeks.
  • The committee was set up by the Indian Olympic Association at the request of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
  • Initiatives include scheduling the senior national championships in February and selecting a 13-member Indian team for the 1st Ranking Series, Zagreb Open Wrestling tournament in Croatia from January 10 to 14.
  • The committee is committed to addressing concerns raised by young wrestlers and fostering the growth and development of wrestling in India.



16. “Vice Admiral Sanjay Jasjit Singh Assumes Charge as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Naval Command.”

  • Vice Admiral Sanjay Jasjit Singh, AVSM, NM, takes over as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command (WNC).
  • Change of Command ceremony held at INS Shikra, marking the transition from Vice Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi.
  • With a career spanning 38 years, Vice Admiral Singh, former Vice Chief of Naval Staff, served on various ship classes and held key command, training, and staff roles.
  • His appointments include Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (CSNCO), Flag Officer Sea Training, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, Commandant Naval War College, and Controller Personnel Services. #IndianNavy #ChangeOfCommand

17. “IFS Officer Randhir Jaiswal Assumes Charge as Spokesperson of MEA.”

  • Senior Indian Foreign Service officer Randhir Jaiswal takes charge as the Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • A 1998 batch IFS officer, Jaiswal succeeds Arindam Bagchi, who has been appointed as India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva.


18. “RBI Unveils New Dividend Rules for Banks in India, Effective 2024-25, Restricting Dividends for High NNPA and Low CRAR.”

  • RBI releases draft circular proposing new dividend payout rules for banks in India, effective from FY 2024-25.
  • Guidelines respond to evolving financial landscape and aim to align with global standards.
  • Public feedback on proposed norms invited by January 31; circular implementation slated for April 2024.
  • Banks with NNPA above 6% and CRAR below 11.5% restricted from declaring dividends under the proposal.
  • RBI conducts comprehensive review of existing regulations on dividend declaration and profit remittance.
  • Proposed dividend computation based on “dividend payout ratio,” linking dividend amount to net profit for the relevant financial year.
  • Emphasis on including dividend on equity shares only in the proposed dividend payable.



19. “Supreme Court Rejects SIT Probe in Adani-Hindenburg Controversy, Upholds SEBI Investigation”

  • Supreme Court denies Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe, supports Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) investigation into Adani-Hindenburg controversy.
  • Bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud states that SEBI has been diligent in its investigation, declines transfer of probe.
  • Court asserts it cannot interfere with regulatory domain, dismisses Hindenburg report as the basis for a separate investigation.
  • Adani Group receives major relief as Supreme Court emphasizes SEBI’s ongoing probe under existing regulatory framework.
  • SEBI directed to complete investigation in remaining two cases within three months; court orders scrutiny of Hindenburg’s adherence to market shorting rules.

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