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Daily & Latest Current Affairs in 2024

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A)
386th
B)
389th
C)
394th
D)
397th

Correct Answer : Option (C) - 394th


Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s birth anniversary, also known as Shiv Jayanti, isn’t just a state holiday in Maharashtra – it’s a vibrant celebration of courage, justice, and cultural pride resonating across India. Every year, on February 19 – though the exact date varies based on the Hindu lunar calendar- the nation remembers the visionary king who established the Maratha Empire and carved a path towards Swarajya, self-rule for his people.

This year (2024) marks the 394th birth anniversary of Chhratrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Banks in Maharashtra will be closed today on Monday, 19th February 2024, but it will operate as usual in other states.

FROM FORT WALLS TO EMPIRE BUILDER :

Born in 1630 within the formidable Shivneri Fort in Pune, Shivaji Maharaj displayed exceptional leadership and valour from a young age. Fuelled by his mother Jijabai’s teachings and the dream of Swarajya (self-rule), he carved his path. He strategically seized forts, employed innovative warfare tactics, and built a powerful navy, laying the foundation for the Maratha Empire.

SHIVAJI JAYANTI: HISTORY AND SIGNIFICANCE

* Social reformer Mahatma Jyotirao Phule was the first to initiate the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti in 1870, after he discovered his tomb in Raigad Fort.
* Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti was first celebrated in Pune, as the Raigad Fort lies 100 kilometres away from the place.
* After Jyotirao Phule, great freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak continued the tradition of celebrating the day.
* The freedom fighter is also credited for highlighting the contributions of the Maratha King among the public during the freedom movement.


BEYOND MAHARASHTRA, AN ALL-INDIA ICON :

Shivaji Maharaj’s legacy transcends state borders. Revered not just in Maharashtra but across India, he is celebrated for his progressive ideas, religious tolerance, and unwavering commitment to justice. He championed education, encouraged regional languages like Marathi and Sanskrit, and established a strong administrative system. His policies were inclusive, respecting all faiths and communities.

A DAY OF REVELRY AND REMEMBRANCE

Shivaji Jayanti comes alive with a kaleidoscope of colours and infectious energy. Grand processions snake through cities in Maharashtra, echoing with patriotic songs and energetic dances. Performances depicting war scenes and showcasing his legacy enthrall audiences. Statues are adorned with flowers, devotional songs fill the air, and people from all walks of life come together to pay homage..

Source : News18

Published On : February 19, 2024
A)
Third Thursday of February
B)
Third Friday of February
C)
Third Saturday of February
D)
Third Sunday of February

Correct Answer : Option (D) - Third Sunday of February


World Whale Day, observed annually on the third Sunday of February, serves as a crucial platform to raise awareness about the threats faced by whale species. This year (2024), falling on February 18, the day sheds light on the significance of protecting these marine giants and their vital role in maintaining ecological balance.

Blue Whales in Indian Waters : Blue whales, the largest animals on Earth, grace the waters of the Arabian Sea along the western coast of India. Sightings have been reported off the coasts of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Kerala, emphasising the need for global efforts in whale conservation.

History : Founded in 1980 by Greg Kauffman, the Pacific Whale Foundation initiated World Whale Day to address the imminent threat of extinction faced by humpback whales. Initially, with only around 1,000 North Pacific humpback whales, the day has since evolved into the 'Maui Whale Festival', celebrating the success of conservation efforts with over 21,000 humpback whales visiting Maui.

Importance : World Whale Day highlights need to protect whales facing challenges such as pollution and habitat loss. With current whale populations at a fraction of their pre-whaling numbers, the day encourages a new generation to take the lead in preserving these majestic mammals for the sake of our environment.

Why is there a need to protect whales?

* Carbon Capture : Whales play a crucial role in capturing carbon from the atmosphere, providing an economic service valued at $1 trillion, as revealed by the International Monetary Fund.

* Oxygen Production : Phytoplankton, vital for oxygen production, thrives where whales are present. Whales contribute to capturing carbon dioxide, enhancing oxygen levels.

* Biodiversity and Climate Change : Whales, being slow-growing and long-lived, are susceptible to overfishing. Their preservation is crucial for maintaining marine biodiversity and combating climate change.

Positive Actions on World Whale Day :

* Adoption Initiatives : Adopting a humpback whale through organisations like Whale and Dolphin Conservation demonstrates support for these magnificent creatures.

* Combatting Plastic Pollution : Addressing the issue of plastic pollution in oceans by supporting local clean-up efforts and reducing single-use plastic consumption.

* Climate Change Advocacy : Supporting initiatives to combat climate change is essential, as changes in ocean conditions directly impact whale welfare.

* Volunteerism and Conservation : Encouraging local volunteerism and direct donations to marine conservation organisations can contribute significantly to safeguarding whale populations.


Facts about whales :

* Baleen and Toothed Whales : Whales are classified into baleen (e.g., humpbacks and blue whales) and toothed (e.g., orcas and sperm whales) categories based on their feeding methods.

* Humpback Feeding Habits : Southern Hemisphere humpback whales live off fat reserves for months during migration, feeding on krill in Antarctic waters.

* Complex Singing : Male humpback whales exhibit complex songs during winter breeding that are audible for miles in breeding areas like Hawaii and the Caribbean.

* Blue Whale Size : The blue whale, Earth's largest animal, can grow over 90 feet long and weigh as much as 24 elephants, surpassing even dinosaurs in size.

* Longevity : Bowhead whales can live over 200 years, and killer whales can live more than 10 years, highlighting their remarkable lifespans.

* Social Behavior : Killer whales are highly social, often forming matrifocal family units centered around the mother.

* Gray Whale Migration : Gray whales undertake one of the longest mammalian migrations, covering about 10,000 miles round trip.

* Sperm Whale Oil Exploitation : Sperm whales, nearly driven to extinction for their oil, possess a unique spermaceti organ crucial for echolocation.

* Antarctic Blue Whale Decline : Exploitation in the 1900s reduced Antarctic blue whale numbers dramatically, with only 10,000–25,000 estimated today.

* Orcas as Dolphins : Killer whales, also known as orcas, belong to the dolphin family and serve as the ocean's top predators..

Source : ETV Bharat

Published On : February 19, 2024
A)
16th Feb 2024
B)
17th Feb 2024
C)
18th Feb 2024
D)
19th Feb 2024

Correct Answer : Option (C) - 18th Feb 2024


Renowned Jain monk Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj died on Sunday (18th Feb 2024) at Chandragiri Teerth in Chhattisgarh's Rajnandgaon district after undertaking 'sallekhna'. He was 77.

'Sallekhna' is a Jain religious practice involving voluntary fasting unto death for spiritual purification, a statement from the teerth said.

Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj attained Samadhi through 'sallekhna' at Chandragiri Teerth at 2:35 am, the statement said.

"Maharaj was staying on the teerth in Dongargarh for the last six months and was unwell for the past few days. For the last three days, he was observing 'sallekhna', a religious practice of voluntarily fasting to death, and had quit intake of food and liquids. According to Jainism, it is a vow taken for spiritual purification," the statement said.

A procession will be taken out at 1 pm on Sunday for people to pay tribute to the departed seer and the final rites will be held in Chandragiri Teerth, it added.


On November 5 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Dongargarh, a popular pilgrimage spot, and met Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj and took his blessings, ahead of the Chhattisgarh Assembly polls.

In a tweet on Sunday, PM Modi condoled the demise of Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj and said it was an "irreparable loss". He also said his valuable efforts for spiritual awakening among the people will always be remembered.

"Throughout his life, he remained engaged in poverty alleviation as well as promoting health and education in society. It is my good fortune that I continue to receive his blessings. My meeting with him at Chandragiri Jain Temple in Chhattisgarh last year will be unforgettable for me. I had received a lot of love and blessings from Acharya ji," he wrote on X.



"His unmatched contribution to society will continue to inspire every generation of the country," he said.

PM Modi said his thoughts and prayers were with the countless devotees of Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj..

Source : India Today

Published On : February 19, 2024
A)
Pradeep Kumar Sinha
B)
Rajiv Mehrishi
C)
Pramod Kumar Mishra
D)
Durga Shanker Mishra

Correct Answer : Option (A) - Pradeep Kumar Sinha


ICICI Bank 17th Feb 2024 at its board meeting approved the appointment of Mr Pradeep Kumar Sinha as an Additional (Independent) Director for 5 years, with immediate effect, subject to the approval of shareholders. Mr. G. C. Chaturvedi would retire as Non-Executive Part-time Chairman on close of business hours of June 30, 2024.

The Board, therefore, approved the appointment of Mr. Sinha as the Non-executive Part-time Chairman with effect from July 1, 2024 or the date of approval from RBI, whichever is later for a period until February 16, 2029, in the vacancy caused by the retirement of Mr. Chaturvedi.

Who is Mr. Pradeep Kumar Sinha?

Mr. Pradeep Kumar Sinha joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1977 after completing his Masters in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics in 1976. He had graduated in Economics (Honours) from St. Stephens College, Delhi. While in service, he completed M. Phil in Social Sciences in 1991 and was a Visiting Fellow in University of Oxford during 1999. He has also attended prestigious programmes, such as, on ‘Mergers and Acquisitions’ in the University of Stanford and on 'Leaders in Development' in Harvard University.


In the formative years, he served in the State of Uttar Pradesh, whereafter he served mostly in the Government of India and rose to the highest position of Cabinet Secretary, the head of civil services. He served as the Cabinet Secretary for more than 4 years before moving to the Prime Minister’s Office. He retired from there in March 2021 after 44 years of continuous service to the nation. In the Govt. of India, he worked mostly in the Power and Oil & Gas (Petroleum) Ministries for about 15 years.

Notable positions held in Gov’t of India include: Financial Advisor and Special Secretary, Petroleum and Natural Gas; Secretary, Ports and Shipping; and Secretary, Power. He has been a Government Nominee Director in numerous major Public Sector Undertakings and is therefore well versed with the principles of healthy corporate governance.

These include ONGC, IOCL, HPCL, BPCL, GAIL, etc. In particular, he was on the Board of Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) for about 7 years at a stretch and similarly on the Boards of BPCL and HPCL for about 6 years each. By virtue of his experience, he has developed expertise in the sectors of Energy, Infrastructure, Transport, Urban Development and Finance..

Source : PSU Connect

Published On : February 19, 2024
A)
Maharashtra
B)
Uttar Pradesh
C)
Madhya Pradesh
D)
Arunachal Pradesh

Correct Answer : Option (B) - Uttar Pradesh


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday (19th Feb 2024) laid the foundation stone of Shri Kalki Dham temple in Uttar Pradesh's Sambhal.

The event noted the presence of Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath and Shri Kalki Dham Nirman Trust Chairman Acharya Pramod Krishnam.



Earlier in the day, Acharya Pramod Krishnam, said, "It is a matter of pride for us that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be laying the foundation of Shri Kalki Dham today. PM Modi will reach here around 10:25 am. PM Modi will install the main stone in the sanctum sanctorum of the Shri Kalki Dham," Acharya Pramod Krishnam said while speaking to ANI.

The construction of Shri Kalki Dham is overseen by the Shri Kalki Dham Nirman Trust, led by its chairman Acharya Pramod Krishnam.


Later in the day, the Prime Minister is set to inaugurate over 14,000 projects valued at more than ?10 lakh crore across the state. These projects stem from investment proposals received during the UP Global Investors Summit 2023 (UPGIS 2023) held the previous year. The event is anticipated to draw around 5,000 participants, including prominent industrialists, representatives from leading global and Indian companies, as well as ambassadors and high commissioners, among other distinguished guests.

Acharya Pramod was previously expelled from the Congress on February 10 due to alleged anti-party activities. Following his expulsion, Acharya Krishnam emphasized the importance of 'Ram' and 'Rashtra', stating his willingness to endure a 14-year expulsion instead of the initially proposed 6 years, drawing a parallel to Lord Rama's exile of the same duration.

At approximately 1:45 pm, the Prime Minister is slated to inaugurate 14,000 projects throughout Uttar Pradesh, collectively valued at over ?10-lakh crore. This marks the fourth ground-breaking ceremony for investment proposals garnered during the Uttar Pradesh Global Investors Summit 2023 (UPGIS 2023).

The projects span various sectors including manufacturing, renewable energy, information technology and IT-enabled services, food processing, housing and real estate, hospitality and entertainment, as well as education, among others..

© ANI

Published On : February 19, 2024
A)
Tamil Nadu
B)
Telangana
C)
Andhra Pradesh
D)
Karnataka

Correct Answer : Option (D) - Karnataka


Karnataka has taken the lead in the country with 5,059 public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, surpassing Maharashtra and Delhi.

Data from the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) under the Union Ministry of Power reveals that Karnataka, the first state in India to introduce an EV policy in 2017, now boasts the highest number of public charging stations.

Maharashtra follows with 3,079 stations, and Delhi with 1,886. Other states with notable numbers of public charging stations include Kerala (958), Tamil Nadu (643), Uttar Pradesh (583), and Rajasthan (500).

These stations are a combination of those set up by private firms and public sector undertakings.

Regarding the number of EVs, Uttar Pradesh leads with 7.45 lakh vehicles, followed by Maharashtra with 4.15 lakh and Karnataka with 3.31 lakh.

In Karnataka, Bengaluru Urban district leads with the highest number of public charging stations at 4,281, which accounts for 85 per cent of the state's charging infrastructure.

According to Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company Limited (Bescom), the nodal agency for EV charging infrastructure in Karnataka, there has been a notable increase in EV adoption.

The number of registered EVs in the state has surged from 9,703 in 2020 to 33,306 in 2021, 95,892 in 2022, and 1.52 lakh in 2023.

Bescom officials mentioned that the charging stations were installed under the Union government's Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme, utilising Bescom's own capital expenditure, green cess funds from the state transport department, through the public-private partnership model, among other sources.

Recently, the Karnataka government introduced the EV Policy 2023-28, aiming to create 1 lakh jobs and attract an investment of Rs 50,000 crore.


A senior Bescom official stated, "We plan to establish an additional 2,560 charging locations, including 140 through Bescom's planned capital expenditure, 20 funded by green cess funds, and 2,380 under the PPP model." He added that 20 fast charging stations would be installed at toll plazas along NH-48 (Bengaluru-Pune) within Karnataka.

In the first phase of the PPP model, Bescom intends to set up 1,190 stations in areas such as Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Mysuru, Shivamogga, Belagavi, Dakshina Kannada, Hassan, Chikkamagaluru, and Haveri districts.

Bescom is also nearing completion of work on its largest EV charging hub at Kempegowda International Airport.

The rooftop solar charging hub will enable simultaneous fast charging for 24 EVs and is expected to be operational in a few months.

Nationally, there are 16,271 operational public charging stations and 80 charge point operators.

Public sector undertakings have installed 4,994 charging stations, with Indian Oil Corporation leading the way with 1,984 stations.

On the other hand, private sector entities have established 11,277 charging stations, with Ujoy Technology having the highest number of stations at 7,176.

Experts have attributed the growing EV penetration to various factors, including the high number of e-rickshaws in states like Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, favourable EV policies in Maharashtra, the presence of e-mobility firms/startups in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the increasing use of battery-run vehicles by delivery workers, rising fuel prices, the growing availability of charging stations, and the introduction of more affordable and diverse battery-run vehicle models..

© Moneycontrol.

Published On : February 19, 2024
A)
Ajit Doval
B)
Amit Shah
C)
S Jaishankar
D)
Rajnath Singh

Correct Answer : Option (C) - S Jaishankar


External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar is attending the 60th Munich Security Conference in Germany. As part of the conference, Dr Jaishankar will address a panel discussion on 'Growing the Pie: Seizing Shared Opportunities, 17th feb 2024. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, and US Secretary of State Blinken will also take part in the panel discussion along with the External Affairs Minister.

On the sidelines of the Conference, Dr Jaishankar 16th Feb 2024 discussed issues related to bilateral cooperation as well as those of key global and regional concern with prominent leaders including US Secretary of State Blinken and his British counterpart David Cameron. In a social media post, Dr. Jaishankar said that during his meeting with Mr. Blinken, their talk centred on the situation in West Asia, Ukraine, and the Indo-Pacific. He said they reviewed the continuing progress in India-US bilateral ties.

The talks between the External Affairs Minister and his Canadian counterpart Melanie Joly focused on the present state of bilateral ties. The two leaders also exchanged views on the global situation.


The External Affairs Minister and European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell exchanged perspectives on the current global situation. Dr Jaishankar and UK Foreign Minister David Cameron discussed India-UK bilateral cooperation as well as global and regional issues.

Earlier, the External Affairs Minister held a meeting with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock, and discussed global challenges and the pathway ahead. The two leaders reviewed preparations for the next meeting of India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations. He also held a meeting with Argentina's counterpart, Diana Mondino, and discussed economic and political cooperation between the two nations.

The 60th Munich Security Conference got underway 16th Feb 2024. The three-day meeting offers a unique opportunity for high-level debates on the world’s most pressing security challenges..

Source : AIR

Published On : February 19, 2024
A)
February 16th
B)
February 17th
C)
February 18th
D)
February 19th

Correct Answer : Option (B) - February 17th


The Andhra Pradesh Forest Department, in collaboration with environmentalists, has launched an awareness campaign to commemorate World Pangolin Day on February 17, 2024. Highlighting the plight of the Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata), also known as the Thick-Tailed Pangolin or Scaly Anteater, this initiative underscores the urgent need for conservation efforts for one of the world’s most trafficked mammals.

The Plight of the Indian Pangolin :

The Indian Pangolin, native to the Indian Subcontinent, finds itself under severe threat due to illegal wildlife trade. Despite being protected under Schedule-I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and listed in Appendix-I of CITES, prohibiting trade in pangolin parts, the species is classified as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List. Chiranjiv Choudhary, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and Head of Forest Force (HoFF), emphasized that pangolins play a crucial role in maintaining ecological balance by regulating insect populations through their diet of ants and termites.


Conservation Efforts and Challenges :

The Forest Department has not conducted scientific enumeration to accurately determine the population of pangolins in India, a gap that poses significant challenges to their conservation. The Indian Pangolin’s rarity and the high demand for its scales and meat, despite lacking medicinal value, have made it one of the most trafficked mammals.

In Andhra Pradesh, efforts to understand pangolin population distribution, trade channels, and ecology are essential for their survival. The Forest Department, in partnership with the Eastern Ghats Wildlife Society, focuses on pangolin conservation within the Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR), leveraging the area’s rich biodiversity.

Empowering First Responders :

In a significant step towards pangolin conservation, the Forest Department released brochures in English and Telugu on ‘Rescue and Rehabilitation Guidelines for Indian Pangolin’. Aimed at first responders, the guidelines provide crucial information on the dos and don’ts during pangolin rescues, especially in cases involving poachers or when pangolins are found in human-dominated landscapes. This initiative, spearheaded by Mr. Chiranjiv Choudhary and A.K. Naik, PCCF (Wild Life) & Chief Wildlife Warden, A.P., is intended to facilitate effective interventions to save pangolins in distress.

Published On : February 19, 2024
A)
World Bank
B)
United Nations
C)
World Economic Forum
D)
International Monetary Fund

Correct Answer : Option (A) - World Bank


Chief Minister of Sikkim, Prem Singh Tamang, launched Sikkim INSPIRES, a collaborative effort between the Government of Sikkim and the World Bank aimed at fostering economic growth and inclusion. The programme focuses on providing better economic opportunities for women and youth through training and employment initiatives.

It marks the first direct partnership between the State government and the World Bank. The initiative will engage nine government departments over the next five years to create an ecosystem for economic prosperity, emphasizing collaboration and capacity-building across various sectors.

Additionally, the launch event included the announcement of a slogan competition winner and the unveiling of a mobile app focused on mental health awareness..

Source : AIR

Published On : February 17, 2024
A)
Rs 25,000
B)
Rs 30,000
C)
Rs 35,000
D)
Rs 40,000

Correct Answer : Option (A) - Rs 25,000


Sandeep Kaur, Director of the Women’s Welfare Department, has declared substantial increments in grants under the Mukhyamantri Kanya Sumangala Yojana. This follows Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s directive to raise the grant from Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 per beneficiary annually starting this April. The initiative aims to tackle the diverse challenges encountered by girls in Uttar Pradesh, fostering their well-being from birth throughout their educational endeavors.

Increase in Grant Amounts

At Birth : The initial grant amount provided at the time of birth has been raised from ?2,000 to ?5,000, effective from the financial year 2024-25.

Vaccination Support : Support for completing all vaccinations within one year has been doubled from ?1,000 to ?2,000.

Admission Support :

* For admission to the first class, the grant has been increased from ?2,000 to ?3,000.
* Similarly, for admission to class six, the support has been raised from ?2,000 to ?3,000.
* The grant for admission to class 9 has been increased from ?3,000 to ?5,000.

Higher Education : Girls passing class 10 or 12, or those enrolled in a diploma/undergraduate program for two years or more, will now receive ?7,000, up from ?5,000.

Expansion of Categories

Six Categories : The grant increase spans six categories, ensuring comprehensive support from birth to higher education.

Implementation Details

Effective Date : The increased grant amounts will be effective from April 1, providing immediate assistance to eligible beneficiaries.

Duration of Support : The support extends from the birth of daughters up to admission in undergraduate/diploma courses, ensuring continuous assistance throughout their educational journey.


Objective of the Mukhyamantri Kanya Sumangala Yojana

Launched in April 2019, the Mukhyamantri Kanya Sumangala Yojana is a flagship initiative of the women’s welfare department in Uttar Pradesh. Its primary goals include:

Eradication of Female Foeticide : By promoting the welfare of girls from birth, the scheme aims to address the issue of female foeticide and promote gender equality.

Prevention of Child Marriages : By providing financial support for education, the scheme aims to discourage child marriages and empower girls with opportunities for higher education and self-reliance.

Enhancement of Health and Education : Through grants for vaccinations and educational expenses, the scheme seeks to improve the health and education outcomes of girls in Uttar Pradesh.

Support for Self-Reliance : By offering financial assistance at key stages of education, the scheme aims to support girls in becoming self-reliant and contributing members of society.

Promotion of Positive Societal Perception :

By emphasizing the value and importance of girls, the scheme aims to cultivate a positive societal perception towards them, fostering a culture of respect and equality. The increase in grant amounts under the Mukhyamantri Kanya Sumangala Yojana reflects the government’s commitment to the welfare and empowerment of girls in Uttar Pradesh, providing them with the necessary support to thrive and succeed in life..

Source : ANI

Published On : February 17, 2024