Current Affairs March 18, 2024

Current Affairs March 18, 2024


Current Affairs March 18, 2024

National News

FLNAT: Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Test

  • The Government will conduct the Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Test (FLNAT) today across 23 States as part of Nav Bharat Saaksharta Karyakram.
  • Approximately 37 lakh learners are expected to appear for this nationwide assessment.
  • FLNAT will be held in all districts of each participating State and Union Territory.
  • The assessment comprises three subjects: Reading, Writing, and Numeracy, each carrying 50 marks, totalling 150 marks.
  • The test will be conducted in the regional language of the learners, in accordance with the National Education Policy 2020’s focus on promoting multilingualism.
  • Chandigarh, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, and Goa are aiming to declare 100 percent literacy through FLNAT this time.
  • The test is crucial for assessing the impact of teaching-learning sessions conducted as part of the ULLAS – Nav Bharat Saaksharta Karyakram.
  • Qualifying learners will receive a certificate issued by the National Institute of Open Schooling, recognizing their achievement in acquiring foundational literacy and numeracy skills.

PM Modi Praises First-Ever Formula-4 Car Show on Dal Lake Banks in Srinagar

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauds the inaugural Formula-4 car show held on the banks of Dal Lake in Srinagar.
  • Modi emphasizes that the event will help showcase the beauty of Jammu and Kashmir to a wider audience.
  • He expresses India’s potential for motorsports to flourish, with Srinagar being a prime location for such events.
  • The first-ever Formula 4 car show in Srinagar marks a significant milestone in promoting motorsports in the region.

Jammu and Kashmir:

  • Capitals: Srinagar (May–October); Jammu (November–April)
  • Districts: 20
  • Governor: Manoj Sinha

ECI Names Sheetal Devi as National PwD Icon, Launches Voter’s Guide for PwDs

  • Sheetal Devi, a Para Archer and Arjuna Awardee from Jammu and Kashmir, is named as the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) National PwD Icon.
  • The ECI also unveils a dedicated Voter’s Guide aimed at facilitating voters with disabilities (PwDs) and senior citizens.
  • Sheetal Devi’s appointment was announced during an exhibition cricket match between the Indian Deaf Cricket Association (IDCA) and the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) teams in Delhi.
  • The exhibition match, organized by the ECI in collaboration with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), seeks to promote voter education and inclusivity among citizens.

About ECI:

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in India. Here are some key points about the Election Commission of India:

  • Constitutional Body: The Election Commission of India was established in 1950 under Article 324 of the Indian Constitution.
  • Composition: The Commission consists of a Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and two Election Commissioners (ECs). They are appointed by the President of India.

State News

Jammu & Kashmir Government Approves Reservation for Paharis and New Tribes, Increases OBC Quota

  • The Jammu & Kashmir Lieutenant Governor’s administration sanctions 10% reservation for newly-included tribes, such as Paharis, in the Schedule Tribe category.
  • Additionally, 15 new cases are incorporated into the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), elevating the OBC quota to 8%.
  • J&K LG Manoj Sinha gives the green light to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Rules, 2005, following the proposal by the Social Welfare Department.
  • The Administrative Council endorses the proposal to grant 10% reservation to the newly added tribes, which include Pahari Ethnic Group, Paddari Tribe, Kolis, and Gadda Brahmins, thereby increasing the overall reservation for STs to 20%.

Jammu and Kashmir:

  • Capitals: Srinagar (May–October); Jammu (November–April)
  • Districts: 20
  • Governor: Manoj Sinha

International News

Putin Secures Fifth Term with Landslide Victory in Russian Presidential Polls

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin clinches a historic fifth term in a landslide victory in the presidential polls.
  • Putin claims victory with 87 percent of the vote, as reported with 80 percent of precincts counted.
  • Election officials note that other candidates fell far below 5 percent of the vote.
  • Putin hails his victory as a demonstration of the country’s trust and confidence in his leadership.

Russian country:

  • Capital: Moscow
  • Currency: Russian Ruble
  • Continent: Europe, Asia
  • Official language: Russian
  • Prime minister: Mikhail Mishustin

Pokhara Officially Designated as Nepal’s Tourism Capital, to Operate 24/7

  • The Nepalese government declares Pokhara, located in the Gandaki province, as the official tourism capital of Nepal, recognizing its prominence in the tourism sector.
  • The announcement was made during a special gathering at Barahi Ghat, situated on the serene shores of Phewa Lake, showcasing the scenic beauty of the region.
  • Despite Pokhara’s existing status as a popular tourism destination, its formal recognition as the tourism capital underscores its significance in the country’s tourism industry.
  • Pokhara’s designation as the tourism capital comes after meeting essential criteria, signifying a significant milestone in its journey and solidifying its position as a leading hub for tourism activities.

Nepal country:

  • Capital: Kathmandu
  • Currency: Nepalese Rupee
  • Official language: Nepali
  • Prime minister: Pushpa Kamal Dahal

Defence News

Indian Army Contingent Departs for Seychelles for Joint Military Exercise “LAMITIYE-2024”

  • The Indian Army contingent heads to Seychelles for the tenth edition of the Joint Military Exercise “LAMITIYE-2024” with Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF).
  • Scheduled from 18th to 27th March 2024, the exercise aims to enhance cooperation and interoperability between the two nations’ armed forces.
  • “LAMITIYE,” meaning “Friendship” in Creole, has been a biennial training event between India and Seychelles since 2001.
  • The exercise will involve 45 personnel each from the GORKHA RIFLES of the Indian Army and Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF), focusing on joint training and skill enhancement.

Seychelles country:

  • Capital: Victoria
  • Currency: Seychellois Rupee
  • Official languages: French, Seychellois Creole, English

Indian army:

  • Founded: 26 January 1950
  • Chief: General Manoj Pande

MoD Signs Contracts Worth Rs 8073 Cr with HAL for 34 ALH Dhruv Mk III Helicopters

  • The Ministry of Defence (MoD) seals two contracts worth Rs 8073 crore with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for 34 Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) Dhruv Mk III.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) grants approval for the procurement of these helicopters along with Operational Role Equipment.
  • Out of the total helicopters, the Indian Army will receive 25, while the Indian Coast Guard will be provided with nine helicopters.
  • This procurement marks a significant stride towards self-reliance in defence manufacturing, falling under the Buy (Indian-IDDM – Indigenously Designed, Developed & Manufactured) category.

Ministry of defence:

  • Officeholder: Rajnath Singh (Minister)
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Founded: August 1947

Award News

Carnatic Vocalist TM Krishna to Receive 2024 Sangita Kalanidhi Award

  • Renowned Carnatic vocalist TM Krishna is set to be honoured with the prestigious Sangita Kalanidhi award by the Madras Music Academy in 2024.
  • The Sangita Kalanidhi award is regarded as one of the highest honors in the realm of Carnatic music.
  • TM Krishna’s contributions to Carnatic music and his influence on the genre are recognized through this esteemed accolade.

History and Inception of the Sangita Kalanidhi Award

  • The Sangita Kalanidhi award, established in 1943, had a hiatus from 1929 to 1941 before its conception by KV Krishnaswami Iyer, then President of the Madras Music Academy.
  • 1st awardees Palamarneri Swaminatha Iyer (1931), possibly Umayalpuram Swaminatha Iyer (1936), and Mangudi Chidambara Bhagavatar (1937).

Author Rakhi Kapoor Honored with Golden Book Award 2024 for “Breaking Free Embracing Me”

  • Author Rakhi Kapoor receives her second Golden Book Award for her twenty-sixth book titled “Breaking Free Embracing Me – Healing from Childhood Abuse and Toxic Conditioning.”
  • The prestigious award ceremony took place in New Delhi, India, on March 14th, recognizing Kapoor’s significant contribution to literature.
  • Breaking Free Embracing Me” addresses the crucial theme of healing from childhood abuse and toxic conditioning, showcasing Kapoor’s dedication to raising awareness and empowering readers.

About golden book award: Golden Book Awards recognizes the exceptional literary works that have made a significant impact. This year 76000+ books were published in India.

Ranks and report News

Ras Malai Ranked Second in Top 10 Best Cheese Desserts by Taste Atlas

  • Ras Malai, an iconic Indian dessert originating from West Bengal, secures the second position in Taste Atlas’ ‘Top 10 Best Cheese Desserts’ list.
  • The delicacy is celebrated for its delicate cheese dumplings immersed in saffron-infused milk syrup, offering a unique and flavourful dessert experience.
  • Taste Atlas, a reputable experiential food guide, acknowledges Ras Malai’s cultural significance and delectable taste, elevating its status among cheese-based desserts globally.

Appointment News

Retired bureaucrat Navneet Kumar Sehgal has been appointed as the new chairperson of the Prasar Bharati Board.

Retired bureaucrat Navneet Kumar Sehgal has been appointed as the new chairperson of the Prasar Bharati Board. The position had been vacant for four years after A Surya Prakash retired in February 2020 after turning 70, the upper age limit for the post.

Senior bureaucrat Rahul Singh has been appointed chairperson of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)

Senior bureaucrat Rahul Singh has been appointed chairperson of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), as part of a senior-level bureaucratic reshuffle effected by the Centre on Wednesday. He will succeed Nidhi Chhibber, who has been named Advisor in the Niti Aayog.

Sports News

2nd edition WPL RCB Clinches Women’s Premier League Title with Victory Over Delhi Capitals

  • Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) secured an 8-wicket win against Delhi Capitals in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) Cricket final at Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi.
  • Chasing a target of 114 runs set by Delhi Capitals, RCB achieved victory by scoring 115 for 2 in 19.3 overs.
  • Ellyse Perry emerged as the highest scorer for RCB with 35 runs, followed by Sophie Devine with 32 and Smriti Mandhana contributing 31 runs to the team’s total.

Important points to take away:

  • RCB captain- Smriti Mandhana
  • Delhi Capitals-Meg Lanning
  • Orange cap- Ellyseperry (Runs-347)
  • Purple cap- Shreyanka Patil (wickets-13)
  • Most valuable player- Deepti Sharma

Odisha CM Inaugurates India’s First Indoor Athletics Stadium and Aquatic Centre at Kalinga Stadium

  • Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurates India’s first indoor athletics stadium and indoor aquatic centre at the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneshwar.
  • The inauguration event also includes the laying of the foundation stone for a new indoor diving centre within the stadium complex.
  • These state-of-the-art indoor facilities aim to provide athletes with year-round training opportunities, free from weather-related disruptions, enhancing their performance and capabilities


  • Capital: Bhubaneswar
  • Chief minister: Naveen Patnaik
  • Governor: Raghubar Das

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