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Daily & Latest Current Affairs in 2024

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World Bank
World Economic Forum
Asian Development Bank
New Development Bank

Correct Answer :   World Bank

Power Finance Corporation (PFC), leading NBFC, power sector PSU and the largest renewable energy financier in India, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support the climate ambitions of the state of Goa. The support extended would be under the Blended Finance Facility being set up by Government of Goa in partnership with The World Bank. The Government of Goa is setting up the sub-national Blended Finance Facility in partnership with the World Bank, aiming to foster low-carbon, climate-resilient development.

Under the MoU, PFC will utilize innovative blended finance mechanisms to fund key climate projects such as renewable energy, green hydrogen, electric vehicles, waste-to-wealth technology and nature-based solutions, thus contributing to Energy Transition.

The Government of Goa will facilitate the successful implementation of the facility by identifying and developing a pipeline of climate projects, and promoting policy decisions and facilitating stakeholder collaboration to take those projects forward. PFC and the Government of Goa will pool resources and expertise, aiming to advance sustainable development. The agreement thus pioneers blended financing facility in India and seeks to attract private sector investment in climate initiatives, thus contributing to India's ambitious net-zero goals.

The agreement has been signed at the two-day India Climate and Development Partners’ Meet in Goa today, February 20, 2024, in the presence of the Chief Minister of Goa, Dr. Pramod Sawant.

Speaking about the MoU, CMD, PFC, Smt. Parminder Chopra said: “India is committed to achieving 'Panchamrit' and Net Zero emissions by 2070; and PFC is going to play a pivotal role in aligning with the government's commitment to Net Zero, through this milestone initiative in the area of blended financing for achieving energy transition.”

The collaboration between PFC and the Government of Goa marks a historic milestone in green financing, under which PFC will lend its financial expertise to drive climate initiatives and catalyze energy transition through emerging technologies. The initiative is an innovative partnership between Government of Goa and the World Bank on the one hand and leading financial institutions PFC, SIDBI and NABARD on the other, to finance climate action priorities..

Source : PIB

Published On : February 22, 2024

Correct Answer :   Noida

'International Tourism Expo' is being organized in Greater Noida from 22nd February 2024. Travel agents from more than 120 Indian cities are participating in this three-day expo. Internationally, Saudi Arabia is the premium partner country for the event, while Maldives, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand are the partner countries.

The Noida Flower Show, which will be a vibrant celebration of nature's beauty, will be held at the Ramlila Ground, Noida Stadium, in Sector 21.

It’s a collaborative effort between the Noida authority and the Floriculture Society of Noida. This grand exhibition, now in its 36th edition, promises to showcase as many as 70 varieties of flora, and thereby creating a breathtaking spectacle for attendees.

Manju Grover, General Secretary of the Noida Floriculture Society, disclosed that the chosen theme for this year's exhibition is the elegant ‘Stock’ flower. At the entrance, captivating Stock flower exhibits will greet visitors, while various delightful varieties of this floral beauty will be prominently displayed throughout the show.

A particular highlight of the event will be a landscaping exhibit featuring an array of cut flowers and plants, capturing the essence of nature's diverse splendour.

With a keen focus on environmental consciousness, the exhibition will focus on plants that contribute to pollution reduction. In addition to the visual feast of flowers, workshops will be organised during the event, which will aim at educating school children on plantation techniques and the art of transforming kitchen waste into valuable compost. To cater to diverse interests, food stalls will also be present, offering a culinary complement to the botanical wonders on display.

Invitations will be extended to schools, corporate offices, colleges, and Residents' Welfare Associations (RWAs), anticipating the participation of around three lakh people, particularly nature enthusiasts and gardening aficionados. The flower show, unfortunately, couldn't take place during the challenging COVID years of 2021 and 2022, but made a triumphant return last year.

The expansive exhibition grounds will host over 80 stalls, featuring 38 nurseries alongside entrepreneurs selling a wide variety of gardening-related equipment, pottery, manure, and more. Vandana Tripathi, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) with the Noida Authority, highlighted the diverse offerings, while stressing on the fact that the show will also include gardening competitions, potting demonstrations, informative talks covering topics such as millets and composting, and captivating cultural shows.

The organisers aim to make the show accessible to all, with free entry for attendees. Furthermore, to infuse a touch of social awareness, street plays addressing pertinent social issues will be held, adding an educational and thought-provoking dimension to this delightful celebration of nature's bounty.

Manish Kumar, from the floriculture department of the Noida authority, expressed excitement about the upcoming event, ensuring that it will be a holistic experience that caters to a wide spectrum of interests and passions..

Source : India Times

Published On : February 22, 2024
NITI Aayog
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
Ministry of AYUSH
Ministry of Rural Development

Correct Answer :   Ministry of AYUSH

Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Tribal Affairs announced (21st Feb 2024) a Joint Initiative on Public Health of Tribal Students. The joint National Level Project of Health Screening and Management through Ayurvedic Interventions will benefit over 20,000 Tribal Students. The Ministry of Ayush through its research council CCRAS has taken this health Initiative for Tribal Students with the joint initiative of Ministry of Tribal Affairs and ICMR-NIRTH Jabalpur.

Union Minister for AYUSH Sarbananda Sonowal and Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda together announced initiative to address the health needs of children in Eklavya Model Residential Schools across tribal areas through public health initiatives.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sonowal said, to make India a self-reliant nation, every Indian has to be disease free. He said that both the Ministries have joined hands to study the health needs of Tribal population and cater to the public health-care services in major thrust areas in Malnutrition, Iron deficiency Anaemia and Sickle Cell Diseases through Ayurveda interventions, which are already prevalent and effective to address these health needs. He informed that this project aims to cover the students of 10 to 18 years of age group enrolled in classes 6th to 12th in identified 55 EMRS across 14 states of the country.

Mr Munda said, the initiative will help in developing healthy lifestyle practices in children as per the principles of Ayurveda, thereby improving and protecting their health and overall well-being with emphasis on prevention of diseases. He added that there should be a medicinal plant garden in the schools to make the future generation aware about the importance of traditional medicines in our citizen’s life.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Ministry of Ayush and Ministry of Tribal Affairs in October 2022 to explore the areas of collaboration, convergence and synergy for tribal development. Accordingly, CCRAS developed 72 Poshan Vatikas in EMRS of 20 states..

Source : AIR

Published On : February 22, 2024

Correct Answer :   Visakhapatnam

Power sector PSU and India’s largest integrated power company NTPC Limited has signed a Land Lease Agreement in order to realize its green energy and green hydrogen objectives, thus also contributing to the Government of India’s efforts towards energy transition. The agreement, signed on 20th February, 2024 between NTPC Green Energy Limited (NGEL) and Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC), is for the development of an “Integrated Green Hydrogen Hub”. The hub will come up on 1,200 acres of land near Pudimadaka village of Atchutapuram Mandal in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

The Pudimadaka Green Hydrogen Hub aims to create a world-class ecosystem for technologies in the new energy paradigm, such as electrolyser and fuel cell manufacturing, related ancillary industries, and start-up, incubation, testing facilities, production and export of green hydrogen and its derivatives such as green ammonia and green methanol. The project includes construction of India's largest green hydrogen production facility (1,200 tons per day), which will enable further conversion of green hydrogen to derivatives such as green ammonia and green methanol, primarily catering to various export markets.

The Land Lease Deed was exchanged between Chief General Manager, NGEL, Shri Sivakumar V. V. and Vice-Chairman & Managing Director, APIIC, Shri Pravin Kumar at Secretariat, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Amravati in the presence of Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Shri K S Jawahar Reddy; Executive Director, NTP, Shri R Sarangapani and other senior officials.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is implementing the National Green Hydrogen Mission, approved by the Union Cabinet on 4th January 2023, with an outlay of ?19,744 crores. The overarching objective of the Mission is to make India the Global Hub for production, usage and export of Green Hydrogen and its derivatives.

NTPC is India’s largest Power Utility into the core business of power generation, with a total installed capacity of 74 GW (including joint ventures and subsidiaries). As part of increasing its renewable energy portfolio, a fully owned subsidiary “NTPC Green Energy Limited” (NGEL) has been formed, which will take up Renewable Energy Parks and Projects including business in the area of Green Hydrogen, Energy Storage Technologies, and Round-the-Clock renewable energy power.

NTPC Group has ambitious plans of attaining 60 GW of renewable energy capacity by the year 2032. Currently, it has 3.4 GW of installed RE capacity and 22-plus GW under pipeline. NTPC is committed to supporting Andhra Pradesh’s and India’s decarbonisation goals..

Source : PIB

Published On : February 22, 2024
3 years
4 years
5 years
6 years

Correct Answer :   3 years

ACC appoints M R Kumar as BOI Chairman, Srinivasan Sridhar as IOB Chairman, and Aravamudan Kumar as UCO Bank Chairman for three-year terms

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed former LIC Chairman M R Kumar as part time non official Director as well as non-executive Chairman of Bank of India (BOI)

He has been appointed as BOI Chairman for a term of three years.

ACC has also appointed Srinivasan Sridhar, as part time non official Director as well as non Executive Chairman on the Board of Indian Overseas Bank (IOB).  Sridhar has been appointed for a term of three years subject to the condition that he resigns from the Board of Bank of Baroda.

In another decision, ACC has appointed Aravamudan Krishna Kumar as part time non official Director as well as non Executive Chairman on the Board of UCO Bank. Kumar has been appointed for a term of three years subject to his resignation from the Board of Suraksha Asset Reconstruction Limited, according to an order issued by the Department of Personnel & Training..

Source : The Hindu Businessline

Published On : February 22, 2024
Uttar Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh

Correct Answer :   Madhya Pradesh

The Madhya Pradesh government has announced 'bag less school' day once a week for students in classes 1 to 12, starting from the upcoming academic session in 2024-25. This decision applies to all government and private schools operating in the state.

The state government, aiming to alleviate the burden on students, has issued a notice outlining the maximum permissible weight of school bags for different classes.

According to the notice, students in classes 1 and 2 should carry bags weighing between 1.6-2.2 kg, while those in classes 3 to 5 should limit their bags to 1.7-2.5 kg. For classes 6 and 7, the recommended weight is 2-3 kg, and for classes 8, 2.5-4 kg. Students in classes 9 and 10 are advised to carry bags weighing between 2.5-4.5 kg.

Additionally, the weight of school bags for students in classes 11 and 12 will be determined by the school management committee based on the students' respective streams.

Uday Pratap Singh, the Minister of School Education, emphasized the objective of this initiative in an interview with ANI, said, "To avoid stress on children due to the burden of their bags, we have categorized the weight of bags of students according to their class." Singh further explained that the initiative includes a designated 'bag less school' day each week, during which students are encouraged to engage in recreational activities such as games, sports, cultural programs, and music.

The minister emphasized that the aim is to ensure that school is not perceived as a source of stress for students but rather a source of joy. Strict instructions have been issued to schools to adhere to the new school bag policy from the commencement of the academic session in 2024-25..

Source : DD News

Published On : February 22, 2024
Capital One

Correct Answer :   PayPal

The legal battle between PayPal and the FIU commenced in March 2018 when the latter demanded registration as a reporting entity under the PMLA. Despite PayPal’s resistance, the FIU imposed a penalty in December 2020, alleging non-cooperation and failure to comply with anti-money laundering obligations. This penalty was initially overturned in July 2023, but the court ruled that PayPal must adhere to reporting obligations under the PMLA as a payments system operator.

Registration with FIU-IND: What it Means

* Compliance Mandates : PayPal must now report large or suspicious transactions to FIU-IND and implement stringent customer verification procedures.
* Record Maintenance : Detailed records of users and transactions must be maintained for a specified duration.
* Sector-wide Implications : Other fintech firms may face similar registration requirements, increasing compliance burdens across the sector.

Legal Developments and Appeals

* Initial Penalty : FIU imposed a penalty in December 2020, citing non-cooperation and violation of PMLA obligations.
* Court Ruling : While the penalty was overturned, the court upheld PayPal’s obligation as a payments system operator under the PMLA.
* Ongoing Appeal : PayPal appealed the ruling, contesting its classification as a payments system operator and challenging the interpretation of “payment system” under the PMLA.

FIU Directive and PayPal’s Defense

* FIU Directive : The FIU demanded registration, citing the necessity to combat money laundering and protect India’s financial system.
* PayPal’s Defense : PayPal argued against registration, citing RBI guidelines and positioning itself as an Online Payment Gateway Service Provider (OPGSP), not a payments system operator.

Published On : February 22, 2024

Correct Answer :   PhonePe

PhonePe launched its Android-based mobile app marketplace, Indus Appstore, in India on Wednesday, February 21, 2024. The app store was launched by the Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw during a hybrid event. The Walmart-owned fintech firm said its new app storefront intends to solve the major pain point of the lack of regional language content in marketplaces. The Indus Appstore will be available in English and 12 Indian regional languages. It also comes with features such as video-led app discovery, mobile-based logins, and AI-driven app recommendations.

Indus supports regional languages like Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, and more. It comes with a toggle button on the top through which users can switch between languages. The toggle not only changes the language of the content on the interface but also app names, app trailers and videos, as well as app descriptions. PhonePe said that the translations were done at the company's end.

Further, the platform also allows users to search in any of the 12 regional languages to see search results in those languages. PhonePe founder and CEO Sameer Nigam said that even transliterations in regional languages will fetch results. Android smartphone users can download and install the app here.

Indus Appstore has 200,000 apps at its launch, the company said. Some of the prominent apps include Flipkart, Disney+ Hotstar, Myntra, Zomato, Swiggy, Snapchat, and more. The number also includes several thousand games, where it is heavily focused. The platform has three major categories in gaming which are casual gaming, heavy gaming and real money gaming (RMG).

App listings on the developer platform will be free for the first year but after that, an annual fee will be levied. PhonePe also stated that the marketplace will not charge developers any platform fee or commission for in-app payments if separate payment gateways are used. In contrast, Apple and Google charge between 15 percent and 25 percent commission for the same and do not allow integration of other payment services.

Additionally, the platform allows users to do a mobile number and OTP-based logins instead of using emails. For app recommendations, the developer platform uses artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithms and uses location data. There are a couple of smart features as well such as smart updates that will allow for faster updations to the latest version. The personalised storage management feature will recommend to users the rarely used apps which can be put into hibernation (updates will be stopped) and the apps which are never used and can be deleted.

Nigam also said that app developers will have an option on whether to show ads in their apps or not. Those who opt in will be able to earn a commission from the generated ad revenue..

Source : Gadgets360

Published On : February 22, 2024
Arunachal Pradesh
Tamil Nadu
Madhya Pradesh

Correct Answer :   Arunachal Pradesh

The Arunachal Pradesh government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to establish the state’s first Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF). This move aims to bolster conservation efforts and protect the tiger population within the state.

Establishing the Special Tiger Protection Force :

Arunachal Pradesh, known for its biodiversity, is home to three tiger reserves: Namdapha, Kamlang, and Pakke. However, despite these reserves, the state lacked a dedicated force for tiger protection. With the signing of the MoU, a specialized force comprising 336 personnel will now be deployed across these reserves.

Funding Support and Deployment Strategy :

Under the terms of the MoU, the NTCA has committed to providing financial assistance for the establishment, equipping, and deployment of the STPF. This funding will be split with 90% provided by the central government and 10% by the state government. Each tiger reserve will host 112 personnel, ensuring comprehensive coverage and protection.

Addressing Declining Tiger Population :

The urgency for such measures was underscored by the concerning decline in tiger numbers revealed by the 2022 tiger census. From 29 tigers in 2018, the population dwindled to a mere nine in 2022 across the three reserves. This decline raised alarm bells and highlighted the pressing need for conservation efforts.

Objectives of the Special Tiger Protection Force :

The primary mandate of the STPF will be to safeguard the assets of the Environment, Forest, and Climate Change department, particularly within the tiger reserves. This includes preventing poaching activities targeting tigers and other wildlife species. By enhancing surveillance and enforcement, the force aims to curb illegal activities posing threats to the region’s biodiversity.

Government Commitment and Prior Approvals :

The establishment of the STPF underscores the commitment of the Arunachal Pradesh government to prioritize wildlife conservation. The decision to create this specialized force was preceded by approval from the state cabinet, aligning with the guidelines set forth by the NTCA. This effort signifies a proactive approach towards addressing the challenges faced in tiger conservation.

Published On : February 22, 2024
Larsen and Toubro
TATA Group
Mahindra Group
Reliance Industries Limited

Correct Answer :   Reliance Industries Limited

Reliance Industries, led by Mukesh Ambani, in collaboration with some of the country’s premier engineering institutions, is poised to unveil its pioneering ChatGPT-style service named ‘Hanooman’ next month. This initiative marks a significant milestone in the advancement of AI capabilities within India, promising to bring a new era of digital innovation and accessibility.

Collaboration at its Core

The development of ‘Hanooman’ is a result of a concerted effort between Reliance Jio Infocomm, Centre, and several Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), including IIT Bombay. This collaborative endeavor, featuring a consortium of Reliance and eight affiliated universities, underscores the synergy between India’s leading corporate powerhouse and its academic institutions in pushing the frontiers of technology.

A Sneak Peek into ‘Hanooman’

During a recent technology conference in Mumbai, attendees were offered a glimpse into the capabilities of ‘Hanooman’. Demonstrations included a motorcycle mechanic interacting with the AI in Tamil, a banker using Hindi to converse with the tool, and a developer from Hyderabad employing the tool for coding. This preview highlighted ‘Hanooman’s’ proficiency in handling complex interactions across various professional fields.

Multilingual and Multifaceted

One of the defining features of ‘Hanooman’ is its ability to operate across 11 local languages, catering to a wide spectrum of fields including healthcare, governance, financial services, and education. This multilingual capability, coupled with speech-to-text functionalities, positions ‘Hanooman’ as a highly user-friendly and versatile AI model, ready to transform the digital landscape in India.

The Future of AI in India

The launch of ‘Hanooman’ comes at a time when the AI sector in India is witnessing substantial growth, with startups like Sarvam and Krutrim, backed by notable investors such as Lightspeed Venture Partners and Vinod Khosla’s fund, also venturing into the development of open-sourced AI models tailored for the Indian context. Reliance Jio’s vision extends beyond ‘Hanooman’, with plans to develop customized models for specific applications through ‘Jio Brain’, leveraging AI to enhance its services for a subscriber base of approximately 450 million.

A Unique Public-Private Partnership

BharatGPT’s initiative represents a groundbreaking public-private partnership, bringing together key stakeholders from diverse sectors to innovate and deploy AI solutions that are uniquely suited to India’s needs. This collaborative model not only exemplifies the potential for innovation but also sets a precedent for future technological advancements in the country.

Published On : February 21, 2024