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Daily & Latest Current Affairs in 2024

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Kalpana Kochhar
Jagjit Pavadia
Vishal Gujadhur
Monique Newiak

Correct Answer : Option (B) - Jagjit Pavadia

India has been elected to several key bodies at the United Nations. This includes a significant victory by its nominee, Jagjit Pavadia, who was re-elected for a third term to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).

Jagjit Pavadia’s Re-election to the INCB :

* Jagjit Pavadia was re-elected to the INCB by secret ballot for a third term, from March 2025 to 2030.
* He garnered the highest number of votes in the highly competitive election.

India’s Election to Other UN Bodies :

India was also elected by acclamation to the following UN bodies:

* Commission on the Status of Women (2025-2029)
* Executive Board of the United Nations Children’s Fund (2025-2027)
* Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Population Fund, and the United Nations Office for Project Services (2025-2027)
* Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (2025-2027)
* Executive Board of the World Food Programme (2025-2027)

India’s Commitment to the UN :

* India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj, stated that India remains steadfast in its commitment to actively engage in the discourse within these UN bodies.
* This commitment is guided by the principle of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (the world is one family), which underscores India’s dedication to contributing constructively and collaboratively to global deliberations.

The Election Process and India’s Convincing Win :

* The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) held elections to fill vacancies in 17 of its subsidiary bodies.
* India secured 41 votes out of the 53 voting members of the ECOSOC, the highest among all winning member states.
* Jagjit Pavadia’s re-election was a convincing win, with the candidate in second place garnering 30 votes.

Jagjit Pavadia’s Background and the INCB’s Mandate :

* Jagjit Pavadia has been a member of the INCB since 2015 and served as its President in 2021-2022.
* He has held several senior positions in the Indian Revenue Service, including Narcotics Commissioner of India and Commissioner of Legal Affairs.
* The INCB is an independent and quasi-judicial monitoring body for the implementation of the United Nations’ international drug control conventions.
* The INCB’s mandate includes ensuring adequate supplies of drugs for medical and scientific uses and preventing the diversion of drugs and chemicals into illicit channels.

Published On : April 13, 2024

Correct Answer : Option (A) - Gujarat

Adani Green Energy Limited, an Adani Group company, is building the world’s largest renewable energy park in Khavda, Kutch district of Gujarat. The park is spread over 538 square kilometers, which is about five times larger than the total size of the French capital, Paris.

Khavda Plant Capacity

* According to Vineet Jain, Managing Director of Adani Green Energy, the total capacity of the Khavda plant will be 30 GW.
* Adani Group will invest Rs 1.5 lakh crore in this project.
* Currently, 2 GW of renewable energy is being produced from this park, and 4 GW capacity will be added by March 2025.
* Thereafter, 5 GW capacity will be increased every year.

Khavda Park’s Proximity to the Pakistan Border

* The Khavda Park is just 1 kilometer away from the international border with Pakistan.
* The share of solar energy in the proposed capacity of 30 GW is 26 GW, while wind energy will be 4%.
* When the park is fully operational, it will generate 81 billion units of electricity, which can supply the entire demand of countries like Belgium, Chile, and Switzerland.

Nodal Agency for Hybrid Renewable Energy Park :

* Gujarat Industries Power Company Limited (GIPCL) has been appointed as the nodal agency for the Hybrid Renewable Energy Park.
* The project to build this park was prepared as part of Prime Minister Modi’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions, and work on the project has been ongoing since 2021.

Reasons for Locating the Hybrid Renewable Energy Park in Kutch :

* More than 1 lakh hectares of barren land is available near Khavda, located on the India-Pakistan border in Kutch, Gujarat.
* The weather in this region is favorable for both solar and wind energy generation.
* The area is sensitive from a security perspective, and permission was sought from the Defense Ministry to construct the park.

Challenges in Constructing the Hybrid Renewable Energy Park :

* Challenges include humid air, salty water, salty soil, and security concerns due to the park’s proximity to the Pakistan border.
* Lack of basic facilities, including mobile networks, makes it difficult to retain workers on the project.
* There is a risk of Pakistani terrorists infiltrating the worker population.

Timeline for Completion of the Hybrid Renewable Energy Park :

* 50% of the work will be completed by December 2024, with the production of 14,000 MW of electricity.
* The Hybrid Renewable Energy Park will be fully operational by December 2026, with the production of 30 GW of electricity.

Published On : April 13, 2024
Ajay Piramal
Natarajan Chandrasekaran
Ashok Kumar Meena
Sachidananda Mohanty

Correct Answer : Option (D) - Sachidananda Mohanty

Sachidananda Mohanty, former Professor and Head of the Department of English, University of Hyderabad and former Vice­ Chancellor of Central University of Odisha, has been appointed as Member, University Grants Commission (UGC) for three years with immediate effect.

The Ministry of Higher Education, Government of India, issued a gazette notification on the appointment.

In a career spanning more than three decades, Mohanty has received many distinctions in the field of education and culture, nationally and internationally. He is a former Professor and Head of the Department of English, University of Hyderabad and former Vice­ Chancellor of Central University of Odisha.

Winner of many national and international awards such as the Katha, British Council, Fulbright(twice), Charles Wallace and the Salzburg, he has published extensively in the field of British, American, gender, translation and Post-Colonial studies. His books have appeared in Oxford, Sage, Routledge and Orient ?ongman, among other notable publishing houses.

He was a member of India’s Education Commission to the UNESCO and Governing Board member of Auroville Foundation. He is the son of late Bidyut Prabha Devi, renowned poet of Odisha and late Panchanan Mohanty, financial advisor to the Government of Odisha..

Source : The Hindu Businessline

Published On : April 13, 2024

Correct Answer : Option (C) - ZeroPe

Ashneer Grover is the co-founder and former managing director of the fintech company BharatPe. After his high-profile exit from BharatPe in 2022, Grover has now ventured into the fintech space again with a new app called ZeroPe.

Introducing ZeroPe: Grover’s Latest Fintech Venture

* ZeroPe is a new fintech app that is currently in the testing phase.
* The app has been developed by Grover’s new company, Third Unicorn, which he launched in January 2023 along with his wife Madhuri Jain Grover and Chandigarh-based entrepreneur Aseem Ghavri.

Focusing on Medical Loans :

* The primary focus of ZeroPe is to provide instant pre-approved medical loans of up to Rs 500,000 to users.
* These loans are offered in collaboration with a Delhi-based Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) called Mukut Finvest.
* The ZeroPe app service is exclusively available at partner hospitals, as mentioned on the app’s website.

Addressing a Growing Market Need

* ZeroPe is entering a growing market for instant financing solutions for medical bills and elective treatments.
* Other businesses like SaveIn, Qube Health, Arogya Finance, Neodocs, Fibe, Kenko, and Mykare Health are already offering similar services in this space.

Projections for India’s Digital Healthcare Market :

* The digital healthcare market in India is projected to generate $37 billion in revenue by 2030.
* Healthcare financing is estimated to contribute $5 billion to this figure.

Grover’s Other Ventures: Third Unicorn and CrickPe

* In January 2023, Grover, along with his wife and the Chandigarh-based entrepreneur, launched Third Unicorn as their new venture.
* Third Unicorn started with a fantasy sports app called CrickPe, which competes with established players like Dream11, MPL, and My11 Circle.
* Third Unicorn raised $3.5 million in a seed funding round led by ZNL Growth Fund, with participation from Vevek Ventures Investments and Rishaayu LLP.

Published On : April 13, 2024
Rachel Evans
Lindy Cameron
Sarah Johnson
Emma Thompson

Correct Answer : Option (B) - Lindy Cameron

Lindy Cameron, an Oxford graduate and former CEO of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, has been appointed as the UK's first woman high commissioner to India.

This appointment signifies a milestone in UK-India relations and reflects Cameron's distinguished career and expertise in international affairs.

Published On : April 13, 2024
John Smith
Maria Garcia
David Johnson
Jagjit Pavadia

Correct Answer : Option (D) - Jagjit Pavadia

Ms. Jagjit Pavadia has been re-elected to the International Narcotics Control Board for the period 2025-2030.

The election, held in New York by the United Nations Economic and Social Council, saw Ms. Pavadia securing the highest number of votes, with India receiving 41 out of 53 votes from the council's voting members.

Published On : April 12, 2024

Correct Answer : Option (A) - Pune

Command Hospital in Pune has achieved a significant milestone by successfully employing piezoelectric bone conduction hearing implants, aiding patients with auditory impairments like congenital hearing loss in children and Single Sided Deafness in adults.

This breakthrough highlights Pune's leadership in innovative healthcare solutions, especially in treating complex conditions related to hearing.

Published On : April 12, 2024
12th April
11th April
10th April
9th April

Correct Answer : Option (A) - 12th April

The International Day of Human Space Flight is commemorated every year on April 12 to mark the beginning of the space era for mankind. The United Nations General Assembly, on April 7, 2011, passed a resolution to establish the International Day of Human Space Flight on a particular day every year.

The primary reason behind choosing April 12 as the date is rooted in the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s achievement to orbit Earth aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft on this day. This achievement by Gagarin paved the path for space exploration for the benefit of humanity.

The International Day of Human Space Flight is celebrated to reaffirm the role of space science and technology in accomplishing sustainable development goals, while also contributing to the improvement of the well-being of states and peoples. To celebrate the day, several space museums, science centres, and schools organise events dedicated to space-related programs.

History :

The first human-made satellite Sputnik I was launched into outer space by the Soviet Union in 1957, paving the way for space exploration. It took four years for another momentous occasion to occur. Yuri Gagarin, the Russian cosmonaut, made the first human space journey on April 12, 1961, in Vostok 1, his space spacecraft. Gagarin took 108 minutes to complete his journey in space, which was a watershed moment in the Space Race.

International Day of Human Space Flight 2024, Significance :

* Space exploration not only provides insights into our solar system’s history, but has added a valuable contribution to various fields such as communication, navigation, and weather forecasting among others. Besides, it is helpful in the development of new enterprises.

* The United Nations recognises the efforts of scientists in exploring the possibilities to detect potentially hazardous objects roaming in our solar system through these studies and approaching our planet. This helps us in advanced preparations to face an incoming possible danger.

* Had it not been for space exploration, the world would not have been able to have satellites in space which are the core foundation for communication, navigation, and security.

Published On : April 12, 2024
Rajesh Taneja
Vinay Kumar Sinha
Tarun Bajaj
Akashdeep Goyal

Correct Answer : Option (C) - Tarun Bajaj

The US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) has appointed former Revenue Secretary and ex-Secretary of Economic Affairs Tarun Bajaj as the head of the US-India Tax Forum.

Bajaj, 61, joined the USISPF as an advisor to the Board of Directors in January and will now spearhead the US-India Tax Forum, an official announcement said on Tuesday.

“With his extensive experience and profound expertise in finance and taxation, Tarun stands as an ideal candidate to steer our efforts forward. His adept leadership in shaping fiscal and tax policies and navigating intricate economic terrains will fortify our mission of nurturing strong economic bonds between the United States and India,” said Mukesh Aghi, president and CEO of USISPF.

A 1988-batch Haryana Cadre IAS officer, Bajaj served as Revenue Secretary. During his tenure with the Indian government, he played a pivotal role in shaping fiscal policies and promoting economic growth.

Bajaj managed both the direct and indirect tax revenues for the Government of India and was instrumental in stabilising the Goods and Services Tax (GST). He also played a critical role in formulating India’s economic response to the pandemic, including the rollout of various relief measures and economic stimulus packages..

Source : Indian Express

Published On : April 12, 2024
April 12th
April 11th
April 10th
April 9th

Correct Answer : Option (B) - April 11th

World Parkinson’s Day is observed annually on April 11 to raise awareness about Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. This day serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by individuals living with Parkinson’s, as well as their caregivers and families.

History of World Parkinson’s Day :

* The date is chosen to mark the birthday of Dr James Parkinson, the British physician who first described the symptoms of the disease in his groundbreaking essay, ‘An Essay on the Shaking Palsy,’ published in 1817. Dr. Parkinson’s work laid the foundation for the understanding of Parkinson’s disease, and his contributions are honoured on this day.

Significance of World Parkinson’s Day :

* The significance of World Parkinson’s Day extends beyond simply raising awareness about the disease. It’s a day to highlight the impact Parkinson’s has on individuals and communities worldwide and to emphasise the importance of early diagnosis, access to quality care, and ongoing research efforts.

* Parkinson’s disease is characterised by symptoms such as tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with balance and coordination. These symptoms can significantly impair a person’s quality of life, making it challenging to perform daily tasks and maintain independence.

* Through increased awareness and understanding of Parkinson’s, individuals living with the disease can receive the support and resources they need to manage their symptoms effectively. Moreover, World Parkinson’s Day serves as a platform to advocate for policies that improve access to healthcare, promote research funding, and enhance the quality of life for those affected by Parkinson’s and their caregivers.

* By acknowledging World Parkinson’s Day, the global community can come together to support those living with Parkinson’s, honour the contributions of medical pioneers, and work towards finding a cure for this debilitating condition..

Published On : April 12, 2024