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Daily & Latest Current Affairs in 2024

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World Bank
NITI Aayog
New Development Bank

Correct Answer : Option (A) - SIDBI

Bihar Startup Fund Trust and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) have inked a pact to administer the INR 50 Cr Bihar Startup Scale-up Financing Fund (BSSFF) with an aim to transform the state into a startup hub.

Pankaj Dixit, IAS, director industries at the Department of Industries in Bihar government and Arijit Dutt, general manager representing SIDBI, formally signed the agreement, SIDBI said in a statement on Friday (February 23).

Bihar Startup Fund Trust is a nodal agency constituted by the Bihar government’s Department of Industries for the implementation of the Bihar Startup Policy. The policy aims to foster entrepreneurship and promote innovation by creating an ecosystem conducive to the growth of startups in the state.

Under the state’s startup policy, the trust has been allocated an initial corpus of INR 500 Cr, in which BSSFF has been established with an initial corpus of INR 50 Cr for scale-up funding support for the startups.

“The Fund, to be managed by SIDBI, shall be in the form of a Fund of Funds. In this model, the fund shall not invest directly into startup companies, instead, it shall contribute to the corpus of SEBI-registered Alternative Investment Funds, which in turn shall invest in startups,” the official statement read.

It is pertinent to note that in 2022, Bihar’s industry ministry had launched the Bihar Startup Policy to encourage entrepreneurship in the state. Under the policy, the state government offered an interest-free seed fund of INR 10 Lakh to startups for a period of 10 years, along with a grant of INR 3 Lakh for product development and training if a startup participates in an accelerator program.

On the other hand, over the last three decades, SIDBI has played a major role in introducing several pioneering steps for supporting the Indian startup ecosystem and also in providing financial services to the MSME sector.

Last year, the Odisha government also launched an INR 100 Cr Odisha Startup Growth Fund to invest in startups, in partnership with the SIDBI, which would be the fund manager.

Recently, SIDBI also entered the venture debt space and partnered with a few funds for debt investments..

Source : Inc42

Published On : February 26, 2024
Atal Setu
Howrah Setu
Pamban Setu
Sudarshan Setu

Correct Answer : Option (D) - Sudarshan Setu

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (25th Feb 2024) inaugurated India's longest cable-stayed bridge, Sudarshan Setu, which connects the Okha mainland and Beyt Dwarka island in Gujarat. The foundation of the bridge, which connects old and new Dwarka, was laid in 2017 by the Prime Minister.

Features of the Sudarshan Setu: India's Longest Cable-Stayed Bridge

* The Sudarshan Setu spans an impressive 2.32 km, which makes it India's longest cable-stayed bridge.
* The bridge has been constructed at a cost of around ? 980 crore and is a significant investment in the nation's infrastructure.
* The four-lane cable-stayed bridge connects the Okha mainland with Beyt Dwarka island.
* It has a total width of 27.2 meters (89 ft) with two lanes in each direction.
* The footpaths on both sides of the bridge, 2.5 meters (8 ft) wide, are adorned with verses from the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita and images of Lord Krishna, providing a unique cultural touch.
* Solar panels are installed on the sides of the footpath with a capacity of generating one megawatt of electricity.
* Sudarshan Setu aims to reduce travel time for devotees and tourists and is expected to be a major tourist attraction in Dwarka.
* The construction of the Setu addresses the transportation challenges faced by pilgrims, allowing easier and more convenient access to Beyt Dwarka. Earlier, devotees relied on boats, which limited their travel to only daytime.
* Sudarshan Setu aims to benefit around 8,500 residents on Beyt Dwarka island and accommodate approximately two million pilgrims visiting temples in the area..

Source : NDTV

Published On : February 26, 2024
New Delhi

Correct Answer : Option (C) - New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Bharat Tex 2024, 26th Feb 2024 (Monday) at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi. The 4-day textile event is considered one of the largest-ever global textile events to be organised in India with more than 100 countries participating at the event. Bharat Tex 2024 is being organised from February 26-29, 2024.

"Drawing inspiration from the 5F Vision of the Prime Minister, the event has a unified farm to foreign via fibre, fabric and fashion focus, covering the entire textiles value chain. It will showcase India's prowess in the textile Sector and reaffirm India's position as a global textile powerhouse," an official statement issued by Prime Minister's Office reads.

The Bharat Tex 2024 will feature over 65 knowledge sessions with more than 100 global panelists discussing various issues facing the sector. The mega textile event is expected to host major policymakers, global CEOs, over 3 thousand 500 exhibitors and over 3 thousand buyers.

‘The Bharat Tex’ is expected to witness more than 40 thousand business visitors, besides students, weavers, artisans and textile workers. The Prime Minister’s Office said in a release that this year’s Bharat Tex will boost trade and investment, help enhance exports and will showcase India’s prowess in the textile sector.

Organised by a consortium of 11 Textile Export Promotion Councils and supported by the government, Bharat Tex 2024 is built on the twin pillars of trade and investment, with an overarching focus on sustainability, PMO said.

PMO added that the four days event will feature over 65 knowledge sessions with more than 100 global panelists discussing various issues facing relevant to the sector. "It will also have dedicated pavilions on sustainability and circularity, an 'Indi Haat', fashion presentations on diverse themes such as Indian Textiles Heritage, sustainability, and global designs, as well as interactive fabric testing zones and product demonstrations," the release said.

Bharat Tex 2024 is expected to witness participation of policymakers and global CEOs, over 3,500 exhibitors, over 3,000 buyers from over 100 countries, and more than 40,000 business visitors, besides textiles students, weavers, artisans and textile workers.

With more than 50 announcements and MoUs expected to be signed during the event, it is envisaged to provide further impetus to investment and trade in the textile sector and help push up exports, PMO said..

Source : DD News

Published On : February 26, 2024

Correct Answer : Option (D) - Dubai

Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) has announced the introduction of a five-year multiple-entry visa aimed at enhancing travel between India and the UAE. This initiative comes in response to the significant increase in Indian visitors to Dubai, with India being the top source market for tourists in the region.

Key Points

Rise in Indian Visitors :

* In 2023, Dubai witnessed a notable surge in Indian visitors, totaling 2.46 million overnight stays, marking a 25% increase from pre-pandemic levels.
* This growth trend has been consistent, with a 34% year-on-year increase, solidifying India’s position as the leading source market for international visitors to Dubai.

Introduction of 5-Year Visa :

* Dubai has introduced a five-year multiple-entry visa to facilitate seamless travel between India and the UAE, aiming to strengthen economic ties and promote tourism and business collaborations.
* The visa is processed within 2-5 working days upon application acceptance, granting holders a 90-day stay in the UAE, extendable once for an additional 90 days, with a maximum cumulative stay of 180 days within a year.

Tourism Growth in Dubai :

* Despite challenges posed by the pandemic, Dubai experienced a significant rise in international overnight visitors, reaching 17.15 million in 2023, marking a 19.4% growth compared to the previous year.
* This growth underscores Dubai’s status as a leading global tourism destination and its ongoing efforts to attract visitors from diverse regions, including India.

Published On : February 26, 2024
Droupadi Murmu
Ram Nath Kovind
Narendra Modi
Amit Shah

Correct Answer : Option (C) - Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (25th Feb 2024) inaugurated virtually two institutes of the Ministry of Ayush which will further promote a holistic healthcare scenario in the country. The ‘Central Research Institute of Yoga & Naturopathy’ (CRIYN) at Jhajjar, Haryana, and the National Institute of Naturopathy (NIN) titled ‘NISARG GRAM’ in Pune, Maharashtra were inaugurated.

While inaugurating Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “Our government’s priority is to increase the immunity and the ability to fight the disease. We have laid emphasis on nutrition. Focus has been on Yoga, Ayurveda and hygiene to prevent diseases. We have promoted both traditional Indian systems of medicine and modern medicine. Today, two big hospitals and research centres related to Yoga and Naturopathy have also been inaugurated in Maharashtra and Haryana. A centre of WHO related to traditional medicine is also being set up in Gujarat. Our government is constantly trying to ensure that every person, whether poor or middle class, gets better treatment with savings.

Union Minister of Ayush and Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal joined the event virtually from Kalyani, West Bengal, where AIIMS was inaugurated by the Prime Minister. Eknath Shinde, CM of Maharashtra joined the event virtually and Union Minister of State for Ayush and Women and Child Development Munjpara Mahendra Bhai joined the event in Gujarat.

At the inaugural event on site of the ‘Central Research Institute of Yoga & Naturopathy, Jhajjar (Haryana) the Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar along with other dignitaries participated in the event.

Central Research Institute of Yoga & Naturopathy, Jhajjar (Haryana) is built under the aegis of the Ministry of Ayush. This is an Apex-level Yoga and Naturopathy Research and Education facility. Through this project, tertiary level Yoga and Naturopathy healthcare infrastructure will be created. The Institute includes a 200-bed Hospital with OPD, a Treatment Block, an Academic block, a Hostel, and a Residential Block apart from the Yoga Block and Diet Block. The 19 19-acre project has been built for Rs 63.88 crore.

NISARG GRAM is a 250-bedded hospital with a Multi-disciplinary Research and Extension Service Centre along with a Naturopathy Medical College for undergraduate (UG)/postgraduate (PG) /Para Medical Courses. The college also has residential & non-residential facilities comprising of Boys & Girls Hostel, Auditorium, Yoga Hall, Cottages, and the famous Gandhi Memorial Hall is also an integral part of the campus. The 25-acre project costs a total of Rs 213.55 crore.

The National Institute of Naturopathy (NIN) in Pune and the Central Research Institute of Yoga and Naturopathy (CRIYN) in Deverkhana Village, Jhajjar, represent significant milestones in promoting holistic healthcare through Traditional Healthcare systems. These institutes utilize diverse approaches such as hydrotherapy, massage, clinical nutrition, and yoga therapy to prevent and address emerging healthcare challenges, especially the growing prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). With their state-of-the-art infrastructure and educational programs, these institutes will empower individuals to prioritize their health and well-being..

Source : India

Published On : February 26, 2024

Correct Answer : Option (B) - 110th

In the 110th episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrates the remarkable contributions of women across India. With Women’s Day around the corner, he highlights the inspiring journey of women like Sunita Devi, affectionately known as “Drone Didi,” who are breaking barriers and transforming lives. From mastering drone technology to revolutionizing agriculture in villages, women are scripting a new narrative of empowerment and progress.

Empowering Women in Natural Farming and Conservation :

* Prime Minister Modi acknowledges the pivotal role of women in natural farming, water conservation, and sanitation. He engages in a conversation with Kalyani Prafulla Patil, who shares her experiences in implementing organic farming techniques and spearheading water conservation initiatives. Their stories underscore the significant strides women are making towards sustainable development and environmental preservation.

Harnessing Technology for Wildlife Conservation :

* Ahead of World Wildlife Day, Prime Minister Modi sheds light on innovative approaches to wildlife conservation leveraging technology. He highlights initiatives like the use of artificial intelligence to mitigate human-tiger conflicts in Chandrapur and the development of drones for monitoring crocodiles in Uttarakhand. These technological interventions exemplify India’s commitment to safeguarding its rich biodiversity.

Preserving Cultural Heritage and Language Diversity :

* Prime Minister Modi pays tribute to individuals like Bhim Singh Bhavesh and Mohammad Manshah, who are dedicated to preserving cultural heritage and indigenous languages. Their efforts in promoting regional languages and folk traditions reflect India’s cultural richness and linguistic diversity.

Youth Empowerment and Civic Engagement :

* Encouraging youth participation in civic affairs, Prime Minister Modi urges first-time voters to exercise their franchise responsibly. He emphasizes the importance of active engagement in the electoral process and calls upon influencers from various fields to inspire and mobilize youth participation.

A Break Amidst Election Season :

* In light of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Modi announces a temporary hiatus for ‘Mann Ki Baat’ to uphold political neutrality. However, he urges citizens to continue sharing their achievements and societal contributions on social media using the hashtag #MannKiBaat.

Published On : February 26, 2024
Madhya Pradesh

Correct Answer : Option (A) - Chhattisgarh

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has commissioned India’s largest solar-battery energy storage system (BESS) in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh.

Project Highlights :

* Capacity : 40 MW / 120 MWh BESS
* Solar PV Plant Capacity : 152.325 MW
* Dispatchable Capacity : 100 MW AC (155.02 MW peak DC)
* Beneficiary : State of Chhattisgarh

Project Significance :

* First-of-its-kind : This large-scale integration of solar and battery storage represents a pioneering leap in renewable energy generation and utilization in India.
* Peak Power Management : The project addresses peak energy demand by storing solar energy during the day and releasing it during evening hours, ensuring grid stability and reliability.
* Environmental Benefits : By utilizing renewable energy sources and adopting sustainable land-use practices, the project contributes significantly to reducing carbon emissions and promoting environmental responsibility.
* Economic Viability : The project’s long-term power purchase agreement with the state electricity distribution company ensures economic sustainability and paves the way for future renewable energy endeavors.

Project Features :

* Innovative Technology : The project incorporates bifacial solar modules, generating more electricity compared to traditional models.
* Land Utilization : The project demonstrates responsible land use by repurposing previously unused land through a collaborative agreement with the Chhattisgarh government.
* Grid Integration : Seamless integration into the existing power grid is ensured through a dedicated 132 kV transmission line.
* Financial Collaboration : The project is a testament to successful collaboration, receiving funding from the World Bank, Clean Technology Fund, and domestic lending agencies.

Looking Ahead :

The successful commissioning of this project is expected to have a widespread positive impact :

* Advancing renewable energy adoption in India and globally.
* Promoting responsible and sustainable practices in the development of future energy projects.
* Inspiring further innovation in the renewable energy sector.

This project serves as a beacon of hope for a sustainable future, demonstrating the immense potential of renewable energy to meet growing energy demands while safeguarding the environment.

Published On : February 26, 2024
IIT Delhi
IIT Mumbai
IIT Varanasi
IIT Guwahati

Correct Answer : Option (D) - IIT Guwahati

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT Guwahati) in collaboration with EduRade, a brand owned by RC HobbyTech Solutions Pvt. Ltd., and incubated at IIT Guwahati Research Park, have launched India’s largest Remote Pilot Training Organisation (RPTO), spanning across 18 acres and boasting the capability to fly nine medium-class drones simultaneously. The primary objective of this RPTO is to promote the advancement of drone technology in India.

Initially, the RPTO will introduce a DGCA-Certified Medium Class Drone Pilot Training Course, tailored to enhance the skills of youth in the North East and other regions of India. It will also cater specifically to women from self-help groups (SHGs) engaged in agriculture, identified under the Namo Drone Didi Yojna.

Upon completion of the course, students will be awarded a Remote Pilot Certificate (RPC) sanctioned by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Government of India. This certification will authorise them to legally operate drones and pursue a career as Certified Drone Pilots.

IIT Guwahati is currently hosting a groundbreaking drone training initiative tailored for diverse defense personnel. This innovative three-month training program, a first-of-its-kind, is specifically designed for Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and other officers, aiming to modernize the operations of the armed forces.

The program emphasizes comprehensive training on various aspects of drone technologies, including pilot training, software operations, and applications. Participants will benefit from an exhaustive curriculum aimed at preparing them for post-retirement career options, equipping them with the necessary knowledge, perception, and vision to excel in the dynamic drone industry or pursue endeavors as technology entrepreneurs.

“Since the past three years IIT Guwahati has been dedicating itself to cultivate innovation and excellence in drone technology services, education, empowering organizations and individuals to emerge as leaders and pioneers in this swiftly advancing field.

As we witness the rapid growth of the drone industry and the mounting demand for drone pilots, the Institute envisions extending drone education, entrepreneurial activity and manufacturing to every corner of India. Through this collaboration, our goal is to nurture a generation equipped with the skills and knowledge essential to excel in the realm of drone technology, thus driving forward progress and innovation in this dynamic field,” Parameswar K. Iyer, dean PRBR, IIT Guwahati, said..

Source : Financial Express

Published On : February 23, 2024
Amitabh Kant
A S Rajeev
Alok Kumar Sinha
Abhishek Banerjee

Correct Answer : Option (B) - A S Rajeev

President Droupadi Murmu has appointed A S Rajeev as Vigilance Commissioner in the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

Prior to this appointment, A S Rajeev was Managing Director & CEO of Bank of Maharashtra, a public sector bank.

Last week, Rajeev voluntarily opted to retire from the post of Managing Director & CEO of Bank of Maharashtra. The competent authority has accepted his request, according to a Department of Financial Services (DFS) letter.

Under the CVC Act, the Central Vigilance Commission became a three-member body, with the Central Vigilance Commissioner and two Vigilance Commissioners.

While Praveen Kumar Srivastava has been Central Vigilance Commissioner since May 2023, Arvinda Kumar has been a Vigilance Commissioner since August 2022..

Source : The Hindu Businessline

Published On : February 23, 2024
World Bank
New Development Bank
Asian Development Bank
African Development Bank

Correct Answer : Option (C) - Asian Development Bank

Surat, February 22 : In a significant move to bolster India's fintech ecosystem, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has sanctioned a $23 million loan aimed at advancing fintech education, research, and innovation within the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT). This transformative initiative underscores the growing prominence of GIFT City as a hub for fostering financial services and nurturing local startups, marking a pivotal step towards catalyzing innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has greenlit a $23 million loan to elevate the stature of Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) as a premier destination for fintech education, research, and innovation. Established as India's maiden international financial services center, GIFT City has emerged as a dynamic ecosystem conducive to nurturing startups and fostering financial services innovation.

International Fintech Institute To Be Set Up In GIFT City :

The ambitious project, facilitated by the ADB loan, aims to establish an inclusive, sustainable, and climate-resilient International Fintech Institute (IFI) within the confines of GIFT City. In collaboration with renowned global institutions and universities, the IFI will offer comprehensive fintech training programs meticulously aligned with industry best practices and international standards, ensuring a robust talent pipeline for the burgeoning fintech sector.

A key focus of the IFI will be to empower women-led startups through dedicated incubation and acceleration services, thereby fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. By forging strategic partnerships with industry stakeholders and venture capital firms, the institute will catalyze the growth trajectory of fintech startups, providing them with the requisite mentorship and resources to thrive in a competitive landscape.

Moreover, the ADB-backed programme will spearhead research initiatives aimed at exploring innovative solutions and technologies in critical areas such as climate fintech, regulatory technology, and social inclusion. By championing gender equality in finance and fostering social inclusion, the project aims to amplify the positive impact of fintech innovations across diverse segments of society.

Additionally, the initiative seeks to establish a robust fintech readiness index, providing stakeholders with valuable insights into the evolving landscape of financial technology adoption. Through concerted efforts to develop novel solutions tailored to emerging technologies, the project is poised to fuel India's transition towards a digitally inclusive and technologically empowered financial ecosystem..

Source : Freepress Journal

Published On : February 23, 2024