Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Current Affairs December 08-12-2023 to 14-12-2023.

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1. Prashant Agarwal Receives National Award

Prashant Agarwal, President of Narayan Seva Sansthan, was honoured with the prestigious National Award for ‘Best Personality-Empowerment of Differently-abled’ by President Draupadi Murmu at a ceremony organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.

The Ceremony, held at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, witnessed the presence of dignitaries including Dr Virendra Kumar, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, along with Ramdas Athawale, Pratima Bhoumik, and A. Narayan Swami.

Recognized for his outstanding contribution, dedicated the recognition to the beneficiaries of Narayan Seva Sansthan. The organization, committed to serving humanity and disability causes since 1985, has conducted over 4,45,000 surgeries and aided nearly 40,000 amputees with artificial limbs.

Under Agarwal’s leadership, the organization provides training in computer skills, mobile usage, and sewing, and facilitates mass marriages, offering complete rehabilitation. Prashant Agarwal’s relentless dedication led to the Rajasthan government’s acknowledgment, honouring him with the Best Social Worker Award in 2017.

2. PM Addressed Infinity Forum 2.0

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi addressed the second edition of Infinity Forum, a global thought leadership platform on FinTech, on 9th December 2023 via video conferencing.

The 2nd Edition of Infinity Forum was jointly organized by the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA), and GIFT City, under the aegis of the Government of India, as a precursor event to the vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024.

The forum provides a platform, where progressive ideas, pressing problems, and innovative technologies from across the world get discovered, discussed, and developed into solutions and opportunities.

The theme of the 2nd edition of Infinity Forum is ‘GIFT-IFSC: Nerve Centre for New Age Global Financial Services’, which will be dovetailed through the following three tracks, 1) Plenary Track: Making of a New Age International Financial Centre, 2) Green Track: Making a case for a “Green Stack”, 3) Silver Track: Longevity Finance Hub at GIFT IFSC.

3. Vice Admiral Dinesh Tripathi to Become India’s New Vice Chief of Navy Staff

In a significant development within the Indian Navy, a major reshuffle is set to take place at the top echelons of the force, with Vice Admiral Dinesh Tripathi slated to assume the position of Vice Chief of Naval Staff on January 4.

Vice Admiral Tripathi, as the incoming Vice Chief, inherits a pivotal role at a time when the Indian Navy is in the midst of critical acquisitions. Notably, the force is set to acquire MQ-9B Predator drones and Rafale fighter jets, underscoring the strategic importance of the position.

Tripathi’s leadership will be instrumental in steering these acquisitions and ensuring the Navy remains at the forefront of technological advancements.  

4. Lakadong Turmeric gets GI Tag

Meghalaya’s Lakadong Turmeric considered as World’s best variety of Turmeric has recently been awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. Along with Lakadog Turmeric, Garo dakmanda (Traditional dress), Larnai pottery, and Garo chubitchi (alcoholic beverage) were also awarded the GI tag.

State agriculture minister Ampareen Lyngdoh said the Lakadong turmeric, which is found in the Lakadong area of the Jaintia Hills, has high curcumin content and the GI tag will help farmers in marketing and give access to customers to the authentic product.

The minister said that “We are pleased to announce that GI has been awarded to Lakadong turmeric”. She thanked the stakeholders who took the initiative to get the GI tag.

Lakadong turmeric is considered to be one of the world’s best varieties of turmeric, with a curcumin content of around 6.8 to 7.5%. It is darker in color and is grown organically without the use of fertilizers. Around 14,000 farmers from 43 villages of the Lakadong area are currently engaged in cultivating the turmeric variety on 1,753 hectares of land.

5. Veteran actor Kabir Bedi was awarded Italy’s Civilian honour ‘Order of Merit’

Kabir Bedi was awarded the “Order of Merit of the Italian Republic”, the country’s highest honour awarded to civilians, at a private ceremony held in Mumbai. This award, the most prestigious Italian honorific one, ultimately recognizes his unconditional feeling and passionate dedication to Italy.

The “Order of Merit of the Italian Republic” stands as a testament to Italy’s appreciation for those who have made outstanding contributions to society, embodying the nation’s values of merit and excellence.

The order aims to recognize and honor individuals who have distinguished themselves through outstanding achievements and contributions to Italian society and beyond.

Being awarded the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic is a mark of distinction and prestige. It reflects the recipient’s commitment to excellence and service in their respective fields.

6. China launches the world’s fourth-generation nuclear reactor

China began commercial operations of the world’s first next-generational, gas-cooled nuclear reactor power plant. The Shidao Bay plant in eastern Shandong province is powered by two high-temperature reactors cooled by gas rather than pressurized water, according to state news agency Xinhua, making it more efficient and cost-effective.

Conventional reactors produce electricity from nuclear energy. However, these advanced models, known as small modular reactors, or SMRs can be used for other applications that include heating, desalination, or steam for industrial needs.

China is seeking to free itself from coal-fired power plants and reduce its dependence on foreign technologies against a backdrop of tensions with Western countries. More than 90 percent of the Shidao Bay plant’s equipment is of Chinese design, project manager Zhang Yanxu told Xinhua.

According to proponents, multi-use SMRs could play a central role in the decarbonization energy transition thanks to their compact and simplified architecture, with their modular design reducing costs and construction time.

7. Indian Army Conducts ‘Honour Run- Indian Army Veteran’s Half Marathon

In commemoration of the historic military victory in the Kargil War, the Indian Army ‘Honour Run-Indian Army Veteran’s Half Marathon’ in Delhi on 10th  December 2023.

The event was conducted under the theme, ‘Honour Run’ and was aimed at strengthening the bond between the Indian Army, Veterans, and the masses, especially the youth. While paying homage to the brave hearts, the participants in ‘Honour Run’ coming from a diverse populace, highlighted the calibre potential and energy of our nation.

The event was inaugurated by General Manoj Pande, Chief of the Army Staff, and witnessed the presence of military, veteran, and civil dignitaries. Over 14,000 serving personnel, veterans, NCC cadets, families of army personnel, and enthusiastic citizens of different age profiles participated in the event.

An Expo was also organized by the Department of Indian Army Veterans, giving an insight into the Indian Army’s victory in the Kargil War. Various stalls were visited by the participants underscoring high spirit and endorsing their presence in the victory celebrations.

8. India hosts the 27th WAIPA World Investment Conference in New Delhi

Invest India, the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of the Government of India, and the current President of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), under the aegis of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), hosted the 27th World Investment Conference (WIC) from December 11-14, 2023, at the India International Convention & Expo Centre-Yashobhoomi, New Delhi.

This year’s conference is themed “Empowering Investors: IPAs Pioneering Future Growth”. The focus is on discussing investment policies and trends, providing a unique opportunity for collaboration, trade, investments, and knowledge sharing.

The conference will feature “The Startup-Investor Connect program,” facilitating connections between venture capital funds and international startups. This initiative aims to foster funding and showcase cutting-edge innovation.

9. The Supreme Court declared Article 370 as a temporary provision

The Supreme Court of India in its Unanimous decision has declared Article 370 as a temporary provision of the Indian Constitution. Article 370 gave special; status to Jammu and Kashmir. The court in its argument stated that Jammu and Kashmir lost their internal, sovereignty upon their accession with India.

The Court ordered the ECI to conduct elections in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir by September 30, 2024, and restore its Statehood. The court recommended the formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee to address Human Rights Violations. The Verdict focused on the validity of the Presidential Order, the Imposition of the President’s rule in 2018, and the constitutionally of the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act.

10. Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurates ‘Krishnaveni Sangeetha Neerajanam’

Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitaraman inaugurated Krishnaveni Sangeetha Neerajanam, at Tummalapalli Kalakshetram, Vijayawada in the presence of SmtR K Roja, Minister for Tourism, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Shri Buggana Rajendranath, Minister for Finance, and V Vidyavathi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

Speaking on the Occasion, the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs recalled the glorious legacy of Telugu culture and notable contributions of Telugu language to classical traditions in creating a remarkable repertoire of timeless compositions.

This three-day classical music extravaganza hosted a variety of activities, including classical music performances by renowned musicians of the country and an exhibition and sale of regional cuisine, local handicrafts, and handlooms.

The event provides an enchanting glimpse into the glorious Indian Classical music heritage and featured a diverse array of performances by accomplished musicians.

11. INS Sumedha Maiden Entry at Port Lamu, Kenya

As a part of the ongoing long-range deployment to Africa, the Indian Naval Ship Sumedha arrived at Port Lamu, Kenya on 09 December 2023. The visit marks the modern maiden port call by any Indian Naval Ship at the recently developed port in Kenya.

During the port call, personnel from both navies will engage in a wide range of professional interactions, deck visits, and sporting exchanges, aimed at enhancing cooperation and exchanging best practices. A joint Yoga session, deck reception, medical camp, and a Maritime Partnership Exercise have been planned as part of the visit.

INS Sumedha is the third of the indigenously developed Saryu-class of the Indian Navy. Commissioned on 07th March 2014, the ship is deployed for multiple roles independently and in support of fleet operations.

The ship is equipped with an array of weapons and sensors and can carry multi-role helicopters. Indian Navy Ships are regularly deployed overseas as part of the Indian Navy’s mission of building ‘bridges of friendship’ and strengthening international cooperation with friendly countries.

The visit is an consonance with the Prime Minister’s vision of Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR) and seeks to further Indo-African ties.

12. Defence Minister Ajay Bhatt flags in ‘Mission Antarctica’ by Himalayan Mountaineering Team

Defence Minister Shri Ajay Bhatt flagged in, in New Delhi on December 13, 2023, a team of Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling that carried out ‘Mission Antarctica’. The expedition, which commenced in 2021, was undertaken by a team of three trekkers, led by a Group Captain Jai Kishan.

The team hoisted the National Flag, measuring 7,500 sq ft and weighing 75 Kilograms across the length and breadth of the country, including a top Mt Rhenock in Sikkim Himalayas at an altitude of 16,500 feet. It was recorded as the biggest Indian Book of Records. During the expedition, the team also displayed the Tri-color over Mount Vinson Peak, the highest peak of the South Pole.

During the flag-in ceremony, the defence minister witnessed the final display of the 7,500 sq ft National Flag at the Air Force Bal Bharati School in the national capital. The event also witnessed the culmination of the mega roadshow ‘Mera Yuva Bharat Yatra’, Where in holy soil and water from the higher reaches of Himalaya (16,000ft) in Sikkim were presented to Shri Ajay Bhatt.

13. Blue Drop Report 2023

The South African Department of Water and Sanitation released a Report titled “Blue Drop National Report 2023”. The report stated that almost half of the drinking water was deemed microbiologically unsafe for consumption. The decline in drinking water quality has been experienced in South Africa since 2014.

The report covers 9 provinces in South Africa with a comprehensive assessment of 958 water supply systems. 442 out of 958 water supply systems had unacceptable microbiological water quality. The number of Water supply systems in a critical state has risen overall.

14. Emissions Divide Report 2023

The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) released a report titled The Emissions Divide Report 2023. The report highlights the differences in Carbon emissions between Developing and Developed nations.

The Report states that Developed Countries exhibit higher Per Capita Carbon Emissions than the richest 10 % of developing nations. The richest 10% of developing nations involve Argentina, Brazil, India, and The ASEAN region.

15. Union Minister Smt. Darshana Jardosh inaugurates the IRSE International Convention

Union Minister Darshana Jardosh inaugurated the IRSE International Railway Convention 2023 opened at the state-of-the-art Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi, with an extremely positive response from all the Railway Zones and industry players.

The three-day convention and exhibition focusing on the Digital Transformation of Railways- Train to track and operation to Maintenance conforming to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Modernization of Indian Railways is being organized jointly by IRSE Bharat Section and IRRSTE, under the aegis of the Ministry of Railway, Government of India.

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