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Daily & Latest Current Affairs in 2024

Current Affairs is a very important part of the overall preparation strategy for various Competitive Entrance and Government Recruitment Exams. Free Time Learning offers Today Current Affairs provides latest and Best Daily Current Affairs for UPSC, IAS/PCS, UPPSC, IBPS, SBI, RBI, SSC, CGL, Railway, APPSC, TSPSC, KPSC, TNPSC, TPSC, UPPSC, MPSC, RPSC, BPSC, MPPSC, UKPSC, MPSC, and other competitive exams.

Jai Shah
Kapil Dev
Roger Binny
Sourav Ganguly

Correct Answer : Option (A) - Jai Shah

Indian cricket board (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah will continue to head the Asian Cricket Council. His reappointment as the continental body's chief was unanimously agreed upon during the ACC Annual General Meeting in Bali on Wednesday, January 31, 2024.

Jay Shah was appointed as the president of the Asian Cricket Council for the first time in 2021 when he replaced Nazmul Hassan in January that year. His tenure as the ACC president was extended until 2024 January. At 32 in 2021, Jay Shah had become the youngest administrator to take over the ACC chief role.

Jay Shah will continue to serve as the ACC chief for another two years. He served out his first two-year term in 2021-22 and was reappointed as the ACC chief in 2023.

Jay Shah has led the Asian Cricket Council through a tough phase as the Covid-19 pandemic had its impact on world cricket. The men's Asia Cup was held in 2022 in the UAE after it was moved out of Sri Lanka due to the island nation's financial crisis. Shah also oversaw the adoption of a hybrid model for men's Asia Cup 2023, which was played in the 50-over format, as the tournament was co-hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Jay Shah has been serving as the honourable secretary of the BCCI, having worked with Sourav Ganguly and now with Roger Binny, who took over as the board president last year.

The Asian Cricket Council, for the first time in 2023, announced a 2-year fixture list with tournaments for men, women and age-group teams.

The ACC announced the Women's T20 Asia Cup which will be held in September 2024. The Emerging Asia Cup for men and women was brought back last year. The ACC had also announced U19 Asia Cup tournaments in 2023 and 2024.

The next edition of the men's Asia Cup is expected to return to T20 format..

Source : India Today

Published On : February 1, 2024
Paytm Payment Bank
Fino Payment Bank
Jio Payment Bank
Airtel Payment Bank

Correct Answer : Option (A) - Paytm Payment Bank

Reserve Bank of India has imposed restrictions on Paytm Payments Bank and barred the entity from offering incremental banking services effective March 2024, due to concerns regarding breach of and compliance with regulatory norms.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has ordered Paytm Payments Bank, an associate of One 97 Communications (PAYT.NS), opens new tab, to stop accepting fresh deposits in its accounts or popular wallets from March, in a major blow to one of the country's largest payments firms.

Paytm will take steps immediately to comply with the RBI's directions, the fintech company said in a statement on Thursday (1st Feb 2024). As a result, it expects a worst-case impact of 3 billion Indian rupees ($36.12 million) to 5 billion rupees to its annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

One 97 will cease working with Paytm Payments Bank and start working only with other banks, it said.

The company has been informed that the RBI's action does not impact user deposits in their savings account, wallets, FASTags and NCMC (National Common Mobility Card) accounts, where they can continue to use existing balances, the statement added.

The RBI had in 2022 asked the bank to stop adding customers. A subsequent audit revealed "persistent non-compliances and continued material supervisory concerns in the bank", the central bank said on Wednesday, without disclosing details.

The regulator used a legal provision that allows it to act in the interest of depositors, and did not specify a timeline for reviewing the restrictions imposed on the bank.

"For all practical purposes, the above notifications end the operations of Paytm Payments Bank," Bernstein said in a note on Wednesday evening.

"This is a definite negative development and adds to the already heavy regulatory overhang on the business," Bernstein analysts said..

Source : Reuters

Published On : February 1, 2024
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Defense
Ministry of Rural Development
Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports

Correct Answer : Option (B) - Ministry of Defense

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled the Interim Budget 2024 on February 1, in which the Ministry of Defence has received the lion's share in the with an allocation of ?6.2 lakh crore. On the other hand, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare has received the lowest allocation out of all the sectors at ?1.27 lakh crore.

Followed by the defence ministry, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has received the second-highest allocation at ?2.78 lakh crore and the Railway Ministry has been allocated ?2.55 lakh crore.

Sitharaman revealed the government's ambitious plan to create a corpus of ?1 lakh crore to propel private investment in sunrise technologies. This corpus will herald what the Finance Minister described as a "golden era for our tech-savvy youth."

The corpus will be established through a fifty-year interest-free loan, providing a substantial financial boost to foster innovation and research in emerging technology sectors, according to the minister.

Sitharaman emphasized that the long-term financing or refinancing with extended tenors and low or nil interest rates will encourage the private sector to significantly upscale their efforts in research and innovation across sunrise domains.

This was the sixth budget presented by Nirmala Sitharaman and the last one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government's second term. The budget focused on fiscal consolidation, infra, agri, green growth, and railways. However, no changes were made in the tax rates, which was a disappointment to salaried individuals.

Since 2024 is an election year, with Lok Sabha Elections expected in April-May, the finance minister unveiled an Interim Budget or a Vote on Account in February, rather than a comprehensive annual budget. After the formation of the new government, the new full Budget is expected in July this year (2024)..

Source : Mint

Published On : February 1, 2024

Correct Answer : Option (C) - Mangalore

The inaugural Mangalore Beachside Startup Fest will be held from February 16th to 18th, marking an important milestone in the region's entrepreneurial landscape. This event, which focuses on nurturing and promoting new ventures, promises to serve as a catalyst for Mangalore's burgeoning startup ecosystem.

Drawing Inspiration From Success :

* Designed After The South Summit : The festival's organizers hope to replicate the success of Spain's renowned South Summit in Mangalore. They hope to bring new energy and enthusiasm to the local startup scene by implementing tried-and-true strategies and best practices.

Tapasya Beach Festival :

* The Platform Of Innovation :  The Mangalore Beachside Startup Fest, organized by Tapasya Beach Festival (TBF), is poised to become a hub of creativity and innovation. Beyond just showcasing startups, it aims to foster meaningful connections, spark innovation, and instill an entrepreneurial spirit in participants.

Vishwas YUS Shares Insights On How To Strengthen The Startup Ecosystem :

Vishwas YUS, the regional director of the International Federation of Inventors’ Associations (IFIA) in India, underscores the fest’s broader mission of consolidating the startup ecosystem. By bringing together key stakeholders, the event aims to foster startup growth and success.

Empowering Entrepreneurs Through Expert Insights And Skill Development :

The fest's agenda includes sessions led by industry experts who provide invaluable insights into critical topics such as skill development, intellectual property rights (IPR), and the complexities of starting a business. This knowledge-sharing platform provides aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools they need to navigate the startup landscape successfully.

Showcasing Innovation Through Student Participation And Startup Presentations :

One of the festival's highlights is the opportunity for students to present their innovative ideas. With approximately 20 startups expected to present their concepts, the event promises a wide range of ground-breaking innovations across multiple domains.

Explore Emerging Technologies-  AI, IPR, And Beyond :

In keeping with the changing technological landscape, the festival will include dedicated sessions on cutting-edge topics like artificial intelligence (AI), intellectual property rights (IPR), and technology transfer. These sessions provide an opportunity for participants to stay up to date on the latest developments and trends affecting their respective industries.

Doctor Vishal Rao's Endorsement And Support :

Doctor Vishal Rao, a prominent scientific advisor to the central government and the state's vision group, has supported the festival. His endorsement, combined with IFIA and the International Startup Foundation's collaboration, emphasizes the event's importance and potential to inspire and empower emerging startups.

The Effects Of The Mangalore Beachside Startup Fest :

The Mangalore Beachside Startup Fest holds enormous potential as a catalyst for innovation, collaboration, and growth in the local startup ecosystem. With its ambitious agenda and robust support system, it is poised to make a long-term impact on Mangalore's entrepreneurial landscape and elsewhere.

Published On : February 1, 2024

Correct Answer : Option (D) - 3

3 Young Indian-Origin Scientists To Be Honored With Prestigious Blavatnik Award 2024 In London on 27 February 2024. This award will be given to them for their excellent work in chemistry, physics and life sciences.

Indian scientist honoured with 'Blavatnik Award':

Out of the total nine scientists honoured with the Blavatnik Award, three are young scientists of Indian origin. Mainly among them :

* Professor Rahul R. Nair
* Professor Mehul Malik
* Dr. Tanmay Bharat

By whom are these awards given?

* This award is given by ‘Blavatnik Family Foundation’ and ‘The New York Academy of Sciences’. This award is mainly given to young scientists for their research work. These selected young scientists will be honoured in a ceremony organised on 27 February 2024 for their research work in various fields of science.

* He will be honoured at a ceremony at the Banquet House in London. They will be awarded a total of £480,000 as prizes.

* The day after the awards ceremony in London, the honorees will present their research with a series of short, interactive lectures at a public symposium at RSA House in London.

Research grants to Professor Rahul Nair :

* Professor Rahul R. Nair is a material physicist at the University of Manchester. Professor Nair has been named the winner for developing new membranes based on 2D materials.

* The membranes developed by Nair will pioneer energy-efficient separation and filtration technologies.

* Professor Nair will be provided a grant of one lakh pounds to continue his research.

Malik honoured for quantum communication :

* Malik, a physics professor, has been named as the laureate for advancing quantum communications through his groundbreaking techniques.

Tanmay Bharat honoured for state-of-the-art technology in Cryo-ET :

* Dr. Tanmay Bharat is a young biologist in Britain. Dr. Tanmay has created atomic-level pictures of cell-surface molecules produced by microscopic bacteria and archaea.

* Dr. Tanmay was honoured for developing state-of-the-art technology in electron cryotomography (Cryo-ET) for this work.

* Both Professor Mehul Malik and Dr. Tanmay Bharat will be provided 30 thousand pounds for their research work.

About the Blavatnik Award :

* The Blavatnik Awards recognise the most innovative young faculty-rank scientists and engineers.

* These awards are given for work in the three disciplinary categories of Life Sciences, Physics and Engineering and Chemistry.

* This award is mainly given to young scientists for their past achievements and future prospects.

* In the United States, the Blavatnik National Award honours the most innovative young faculty-rank scientists and engineers.

Published On : February 1, 2024
Tamil Nadu
Uttar Pradesh

Correct Answer : Option (B) - Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu has set a new benchmark in environmental conservation and biodiversity protection by securing two more Ramsar sites, thus achieving the highest number of such designated areas in the country. The recent addition of the Longwood Shola Reserve Forest in The Nilgiris and the Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary in Ariyalur has propelled the state to the forefront of ecological conservation efforts in India. With these new designations, Tamil Nadu now boasts 16 Ramsar sites, a testament to its rich biodiversity and the state government’s commitment to preserving it.

Understanding Ramsar Sites :

Ramsar sites are wetlands of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. These sites are recognized for their ecological significance, biodiversity richness, and the role they play in supporting human life and environmental health.

New Additions to Tamil Nadu’s Conservation Legacy :

* Longwood Shola Reserve Forest: A Biodiversity Haven : The Longwood Shola Reserve Forest spans 116.07 hectares in The Nilgiris and is celebrated as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. This verdant reserve is home to over 700 species of flora and fauna, including 177 bird species, 14 of which are endemic to the Western Ghats. The reserve’s diverse herpetofauna, several species of which are endemic and considered threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), underscores its ecological importance. Longwood Shola not only contributes to the biodiversity of the fragile Nilgiris ecosystem but also serves as a critical water source for Kotagiri and 18 downstream villages.

* Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary: A Crucial Stopover for Migratory Birds : Covering 453.7 hectares, the Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary is nestled in Ariyalur and stands as another Important Bird and Biodiversity Area in Tamil Nadu. The sanctuary is a sanctuary for over 500 species of flora and fauna and plays a pivotal role in the Central Asian Flyway, acting as a vital breeding and foraging ground for waterbirds. Its designation as a Ramsar site acknowledges its significance in avian conservation and the protection of migratory pathways.

A Commitment to Sustainable Management :

Following these designations, the Tamil Nadu government, in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India, has embarked on preparing integrated management plans for its Ramsar sites. This initiative aims to ensure the sustainable conservation of these wetlands, safeguarding their biodiversity and ecological functions for future generations.

Tamil Nadu’s Leading Role in Wetland Conservation :

The recognition of Longwood Shola and Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary as Ramsar sites is a significant achievement for Tamil Nadu. It highlights the state’s dedication to environmental stewardship and its role as a leader in the conservation of India’s natural heritage. These designations not only contribute to global biodiversity conservation efforts but also enhance the state’s ecological resilience and the well-being of its communities.

As Tamil Nadu continues to prioritize the protection of its unique ecosystems, the addition of these Ramsar sites serves as a beacon of hope for conservationists worldwide. It underscores the importance of collaborative efforts in preserving our planet’s invaluable wetlands and the myriad life forms they support.

Published On : February 1, 2024
January 31
January 30
January 29
January 28

Correct Answer : Option (A) - January 31

International Zebra Day, observed annually on January 31, is a significant event dedicated to raising awareness about the conservation of zebras. These unique animals, easily recognizable by their black and white stripes, are an integral part of Africa’s wildlife and ecosystem. However, due to environmental degradation and the increasing human population, zebras are increasingly vulnerable. In this article, we delve into the history, significance, and ways to contribute to the conservation of this endangered species.

History of International Zebra Day :

International Zebra Day was established to draw attention to the declining population of zebras in the wild, particularly the Grevy’s zebra, which is listed as critically endangered on the Red List of Threatened Species. The African Wildlife Foundation reports a 54% decline in Grevy’s zebra numbers over the past three decades. Thought to be initiated by conservation organizations like the Conservation Biology Institute and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, the day aims to educate the public on the challenges zebras face and encourage strategies to prevent further population decline.

The Plight of the Zebra :

Zebras primarily inhabit the semi-desert regions of Kenya and Ethiopia and the hilly regions of Namibia, Angola, and South Africa. There are three different species of zebras in the wild: Grevy’s zebra, plains zebra, and mountain zebra. Each species faces its own set of challenges, but common threats include poaching, habitat degradation, and human-wildlife conflicts. The disturbance of their natural habitat is a significant factor contributing to their endangered status.

Significance of International Zebra Day :

International Zebra Day is not just about acknowledging the beauty and uniqueness of zebras but also about understanding their role in maintaining ecological balance. The day serves as a vital platform to highlight the conservation needs of zebras and the importance of protecting their populations and habitats. It also emphasizes the need for proactive measures by individuals, communities, and governments to ensure the long-term survival of these magnificent creatures.

How to Contribute to Zebra Conservation :

Participating in International Zebra Day can take many forms, from educating oneself and others about the plight of zebras to supporting conservation efforts. Here are some ways you can contribute:

Education and Awareness: Spread the word about the importance of zebra conservation through social media, blogs, and community events.

* Support Conservation Organizations : Donate to or volunteer with organizations dedicated to wildlife conservation.

* Responsible Tourism : Choose eco-friendly and ethical wildlife tours that support conservation efforts.

* Advocacy : Advocate for policies that protect wildlife habitats and reduce human-wildlife conflicts.

Published On : January 31, 2024
Tamil Nadu
West Bengal

Correct Answer : Option (C) - Maharashtra

The “Maratha Military Landscapes of India” will be India’s nomination for recognition as UNESCO World Heritage List for the year 2024-25.

* The Maratha Military Landscapes of India, which developed between 17th and 19th centuries, represent an extraordinary fortification and military system envisioned by the Maratha rulers.

* This extraordinary network of forts, varying in hierarchies, scales and typological features, is a result of integrating the landscape, terrain and physiographic characteristics distinctive to the Sahyadri mountain ranges, the Konkan Coast, Deccan Plateau and the Eastern Ghats in the Indian Peninsula.

* The twelve component parts of this nomination are, Salher fort, Shivneri fort, Lohgad, Khanderi fort, Raigad, Rajgad, Pratapgad, Suvarnadurg, Panhala Fort, Vijay durg, Sindhudurg in Maharashtra and Gingee Fort in Tamil Nadu.

* Among these, Salher fort, Shivneri fort, Lohgad, Raigad, Rajgad and Gingee fort are hill forts, Pratapgad is hill-forest fort, Panhala is hill-plateau fort, Vijaydurg is coastal fort whereas Khanderi fort, Suvarnadurg and Sindhudurg are island forts.

* The inception of the Maratha Military ideology dates back to 17th Century during the reign of the Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj by the 1670 CE and continued through subsequent rules until Peshwa rule till 1818 CE..

Source : PIB

Published On : January 31, 2024

Correct Answer : Option (A) - 17th

Malaysia’s Sultan Ibrahim from the southern state of Johor was installed as the country’s 17th king on Wednesday (31st Jan 2024), taking the oath of office in a ceremony at the national palace in Kuala Lumpur.

The monarchy plays a mostly ceremonial role in Malaysia, but its influence has grown in recent years, prompting the king to wield rarely-used discretionary powers to quell political instability.

Under a unique system of monarchy, the heads of Malaysia’s nine royal families take turns to be the King, known as the “Yang di-Pertuan Agong” every five years.

Sultan Ibrahim, 65, succeeds Al-Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, who is returning to lead his home state of Pahang after completing his five-year tenure as king.

While the monarchy is largely seen as above politics, Sultan Ibrahim has been noted for his forthrightness and outsized personality, often weighing in on the country’s political issues.

Known for his large collection of luxury cars and motorbikes, Sultan Ibrahim has wide-ranging business interests from real estate to mining, including a stake in Forest City – a $100-billion China-backed land reclamation and development project off Johor.

Ahead of his installation, Sultan Ibrahim told Singapore’s The Straits Times newspaper he intends to be an active monarch and proposed that Malaysia’s state oil firm Petroliam Nasional and the country’s anti-corruption agency to report directly to the king.

He also spoke of his plans to revive a stalled high-speed rail link project between Malaysia and Singapore, with a border crossing through Forest City.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim later downplayed the statements, saying all opinions can be discussed without disregarding the federal constitution, state media reported.

Sultan Ibrahim takes on his duties as king amid renewed political tensions in Malaysia.

The country has seen ongoing political turmoil since 2018 when the then-ruling Barisan Nasional coalition was ousted from power for the first time since independence, prompting the monarch to play a greater role.

The king largely acts upon the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet but is granted a few discretionary powers under the federal constitution, including the authority to appoint a premier he believes commands a parliamentary majority.

Sultan Ibrahim’s predecessor, Al-Sultan Abdullah, exercised such power three times to resolve political uncertainty during his reign, twice after governments collapsed and the latest in 2022, when he appointed Anwar following an election that ended in a hung parliament.

Before stepping down from the throne, Al-Sultan Abdullah called for political stability, responding to media reports this month of an alleged plot to topple the government. Several opposition and ruling bloc leaders have denied being part of the plot..

Source : The Print

Published On : January 31, 2024
World Economic Forum
United Nations Development Programme
International Monetary Fund
Transparency International

Correct Answer : Option (D) - Transparency International

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) offers valuable insights into India’s standing in the global arena of public sector integrity. The 2023 report sheds light on India’s performance amidst broader trends in the Asia Pacific region, highlighting challenges and opportunities for combating corruption.

India’s Placement in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2023 :

India’s placement in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2023 remained largely unchanged, securing the 93rd position out of 180 countries. The CPI, curated by Transparency International, evaluates nations based on their perceived levels of public sector corruption, utilizing a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 signifies high corruption and 100 represents very clean governance.

Stability in India’s Corruption Perception :

India’s overall score in the CPI for 2023 was 39, reflecting a minor fluctuation from the previous year’s score of 40. Despite this stability, the report highlights the ongoing challenges concerning civic space in India, notably citing concerns regarding a telecommunications bill that could potentially infringe on fundamental rights.

South Asia’s Corruption Landscape :

The report sheds light on corruption dynamics in South Asia, where countries like Pakistan (133) and Sri Lanka (115) are contending with their debt burdens and political instability. However, both nations exhibit strong judicial oversight, which serves as a check on governmental power. Pakistan’s Supreme Court, for instance, expanded citizens’ right to information under Article 19A of its Constitution, previously limited to certain institutions.

Regional Overview: Asia Pacific :

In the broader Asia Pacific region, the CPI for 2023 reveals a stagnant trend in addressing corruption, with the average score persistently lingering at 45 out of 100 for five consecutive years. The report emphasizes the lack of significant progress in combating corruption, with most countries scoring below the regional and global averages.

Global Landscape and Top Performers :

Countries with robust corruption control mechanisms continue to lead the index, including New Zealand (3), Singapore (5), Australia (14), and Japan (16). Conversely, nations grappling with authoritarian regimes and humanitarian crises, such as North Korea (172) and Myanmar (162), occupy the lower rungs of the index.

Trends in CPI Scores :

The report highlights notable shifts in CPI scores since 2018, with some countries experiencing declines, including Venezuela (13) and Sri Lanka (34), while others, such as South Korea (63) and Ireland (77), have shown improvements. For the sixth consecutive year, Denmark has retained its top position on the index, securing a score of 90, credited to its robust “well-functioning justice systems.

India’s CPI Ranking: A Reflection of Ongoing Challenges :

India’s CPI ranking underscores the persistent challenges of corruption within its public sector, albeit with minimal fluctuations in its overall score. As part of a broader regional and global landscape, concerted efforts are imperative to address corruption effectively and safeguard democratic principles and institutional integrity.

Published On : January 31, 2024