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Daily & Latest Current Affairs in 2024

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Himachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh

Correct Answer :   Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami launched the 'Himalayan Basket' at his residence.

Key Points :

* The initiative was started by Sumit and Sneha Thapliyal in 2018, aiming to provide employment to local people.

* Sumit, an engineer, and Sneha, a marketing professional, initiated the project with a focus on agricultural products like milk, turmeric, and mint.

* Under the Himalayan Basket, these agricultural products are purchased, processed, and supplied to foreign countries.

* Special products like 'Churpi' (a hard cheese) and 'Ghee' (clarified butter) are particularly in high demand.

* The government and district administration have supported the initiative by leasing a gardening cold store to them.

* The CM expressed the government's commitment to supporting initiatives in this field and aiming to create an ideal Champawat.

Published On : February 20, 2024
February 19th
February 20th
February 21st
February 22nd

Correct Answer :   February 20th

In 1987, Arunachal Pradesh, one of India’s north-eastern states attained full statehood, and that is why Arunachal Pradesh Foundation Day has been celebrated annually on 20 February since that year.

Arunachal Pradesh is a land of natural wonders and cultural heritage. It is known for its stunning landscapes, rich biodiversity, and unique tribal cultures.

It is a place where the mountains meet the sky, the forests are lush and green, and the people are warm and welcoming. Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural exploration, Arunachal Pradesh has something to offer to everyone.

History and Significance of Arunachal Pradesh Foundation Day :

Arunachal Pradesh has a rich history that dates back centuries. The state was formerly known as the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) until it was granted statehood on 20 February 1987. Prior to that, it was a part of the larger state of Assam. The state was divided into 16 districts in 1975, and the first general election for the Assembly was held in February 1978.

Rhe Director of Research of the Arunachal Pradesh Foundation, Bibhabasu Das Shastri, and the Chief Commissioner of Arunachal Pradesh, KAA Raja, had renamed the NEFA to Arunachal Pradesh on 20 January 1972, following which it became a union territory before being declared as a state in 1987.

Arunachal Pradesh Foundation Day: Interesting Facts You Should Know

Here are some of the interesting and unknown facts about Arunachal Pradesh Foundation Day.

Natural Attractions : Arunachal Pradesh is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in India. The state is home to the majestic Himalayas, lush rainforests, and beautiful valleys. The Tawang Monastery, the largest monastery in India, is located in Arunachal Pradesh. Other major attractions include the Orchid Sanctuary, two National Parks, and eight wildlife sanctuaries.

Cultural Heritage : Arunachal Pradesh is home to a rich cultural heritage that is reflected in its traditional festivals, music, dance, and art forms. The state is home to 26 main tribes and several other sub-tribes. While a large number of people follow the Christian faith, there are also a significant number of secular residents.

Biodiversity : Arunachal Pradesh is known for its rich biodiversity. The state is home to a variety of wildlife, including four major cats: tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, and snow leopard. Two thirds of the state is forested, and it is home to thousands of mammal and bird species. Arunachal Pradesh is also the only state in India to have 500 varieties of orchids.

Economy : Arunachal Pradesh has a growing economy that is based on agriculture, horticulture, and tourism. The state is a major producer of fruits like apple, kiwi, pine, pineapple, and orange. Arunachal Pradesh also has significant hydropower potential and is working to develop its tourism industry..

Source : The Quint

Published On : February 20, 2024
February 20th
February 19th
February 18th
February 17th

Correct Answer :   February 20th

Mizoram Foundation Day, celebrated annually on February 20th, holds profound significance for the people of Mizoram, marking the establishment of the state as the 23rd state of India in 1987. This day commemorates the hard-fought struggle for political rights and self-determination by the Mizo people, culminating in the realization of their aspirations.

Mizoram Foundation Day 2024 – Date :

Mizoram Foundation Day 2024, observed on February 20th, commemorates the state’s establishment as the 23rd state of India in 1987. It celebrates the Mizo people’s struggle for self-determination and political rights, culminating in the historic peace accord between the government of India and the Mizo National Front in 1986. The day honors Mizoram’s rich cultural heritage and achievements.

Mizoram Foundation Day 2024 – Historical Significance :

The roots of Mizoram’s journey towards statehood trace back to 1961 with the formation of the Mizo National Front (MNF) by local tribal leaders. The MNF, driven by the mission to safeguard Mizo rights and foster inclusion, initiated an insurgency against the Indian government in 1966. This insurgency persisted for two decades until a historic peace accord was brokered in 1986, paving the way for Mizoram’s formal integration into the Indian union as a state on February 20, 1987.

Statehood Day of Mizoram – Significance and Celebration :

Mizoram Foundation Day serves as a pivotal occasion to reflect on the past struggles, celebrate present achievements, and chart a course for the future. It is a day to honor the legacy of those who fought for independence and to recognize the resilience and determination of the Mizo people.

Key Facts About Mizoram State :

Here are some key facts related to Mizoram state :

* Name Origin : “Mizoram” derives from “Mizo” (native inhabitants) and “Ram” (land), meaning “land of the Mizos.”
* Statehood : Became the 23rd state of India on February 20, 1987, after the 53rd amendment to the Indian Constitution.
* Geography : Located in northeast India, Mizoram is the southernmost landlocked state, sharing borders with Tripura, Assam, and Manipur, as well as with Bangladesh and Myanmar.
* Population : As of 2011, Mizoram had a population of 1,091,014, with the majority being tribal people, particularly Mizo, and a Christian majority (87%).
* Economy : Primarily agrarian, with jhum (slash-and-burn) farming being common. However, horticulture and bamboo industries are growing sectors. Gross state domestic product estimated at ?69.91 billion (US$880 million) in 2012.
* Literacy : Mizoram boasts a high literacy rate of 91.58% (2011 census), the second-highest among Indian states.
* Languages : Official languages are Mizo and English, with Mizo being predominant. Chakma, Mara, and Tripuri are also spoken.
* Religion : Christianity is the predominant religion (87.16%), followed by Buddhism (8.51%) and Hinduism (2.75%). Some Mizos claim Jewish descent.
* Biodiversity : Mizoram is rich in biodiversity, with about 76% of its area covered by forests. It hosts various species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
* Tourism : Known for its scenic landscapes, pleasant climate, and diverse wildlife, Mizoram attracts both domestic and international tourists. Inner Line Permit required for Indian citizens, while foreign nationals need Protected Area Permits.

Published On : February 20, 2024

Correct Answer :   85th

The Henley Passport Index for 2024 has been released, and India slipped one rank down from last year (2023) to 85th. The index ranks 199 nations based on the strength of their passports, and in 2024, France has topped the list, as its passport provides visa-free access to 194 countries.

India slipped one notch down from last year to 85th even as the countries with visa-free access to Indians increased to 62 from 60 in 2023. The rank of political crisis-hit Pakistan remained the same as last year, at 106, while Bangladesh's position slipped from 101 in 2023 to 102 this year.

Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain are the other countries that are standing alongside France on the top.

Interestingly, the Maldives, India's maritime neighbour, was ranked 58th with its citizens having visa-free access to 96 countries.  

In geopolitics, the strength of a country's passport is a significant metric to measure its soft power. A strong passport allows citizens to freely travel across the globe without requiring a visa.

China witnessed a marginal jump in its ranking from 66 in 2023 to 64 this year, as the country granted visa-free access to many European nations to revive its tourism sector in a post-pandemic economy. The ranking of the United States jumped from 7th to 6th position even as its anti-immigration stance seems to be a polarising issue in the upcoming Presidential elections.

Henley Passport Index Methodology

“With historical data spanning 19 years, the Henley Passport Index is the only one of its kind based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA). The index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations. Updated monthly, the Henley Passport Index is considered the standard reference tool for global citizens and sovereign states when assessing where a passport ranks on the global mobility spectrum," the Henley Passport Index said on its website while sharing the details around its data.

The rankings denote that global mobility underwent a significant transformation over the last two decades as in 2006 people could travel visa-free to only 58 countries on average. However, the number has almost doubled to 111 countries this year (2024)..

Source : Mint

Published On : February 20, 2024
Yuvraj Singh
Guru Randhawa
Harbhajan Singh
Shubman Gill

Correct Answer :   Shubman Gill

Shubman Gill has been appointed as state icon of Punjab for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Chief Electoral Officer Sibin C announced on Monday that the star Indian batter will engage in various election campaigns to generate voter awareness and increase the turnout in the state.

Gill's popularity has grown multi-fold over the IPL 2023 and ODI World Cup 2023 and the state election chief aims to use that as the poll panel has set the target of "Is Vaar 70 Paar".

Punjab had recorded a voter turnout of 65.96 in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls for the 13 seats. The CEO said Punjab resident Gill, popular among sports enthusiasts, especially the youth, has been appointed as a "state icon" for the polls.

Sibin C said that in a meeting with all deputy commissioners of Punjab on Friday (16th Feb 2024), they were asked to identify such areas where the voting percentage was low during the last elections. He said that awareness campaigns and appeals made by Gill in such areas.

The CEO expressed hope that the first-time voters would be influenced by Shubman Gill and Tarsem Jassar, and exercise their franchise, while also appealing to the people of other age groups to vote in large numbers. The Lok Sabha polls are likely to be held in April-May.

During the third Test match against England where India registered it's biggest Test victory, Shubman Gill missed out on a deserving ton by nine runs. The overnight pair of Gill and Kuldeep Yadav (27) frustrated England for about an hour until they were separated, adding 55 runs for the fourth wicket.

Kuldeep appeared to be busier and more aggressive than his partner Gill, using his feet well to hit Tom Hartley (1/78) for a six on one occasion. However, a miscommunication between the two resulted in Gill being run out nine runs short of what would have been his fourth Test century and second for the series.

Kuldeep hit one from Hartley firmly towards wide mid-on and took a couple of paces for a run, but Ben Stokes was swift in getting to the ball and firing it to the bowler who broke the stumps. Gill, who was quick to set off, made a desperate dive in return after being asked to turn back and fell a few inches short of the crease. The India No 3 made 91 from 151 balls with nine fours and two sixes before his progression got abruptly cut off.

The disappointment was evident for the two Indians with Gill making his frustration evident while trudging off the field and Kuldeep, who had turned back his partner, collapsing on his haunches with his head bowed down. Kuldeep's 91-ball vigil finally ended when he edged one from Rehan Ahmed (1/64) to Joe Root at first slip..

Source : CNBC18

Published On : February 20, 2024
17th Feb 2024
18th Feb 2024
19th Feb 2024
20th Feb 2024

Correct Answer :   19th Feb 2024

Rituraj Singh, a well-known figure in the television industry, succumbed to a cardiac arrest on Monday (19th Feb 2024) night. The 59-year-old had been contending with pancreatic illness.

Rituraj Singh gained immense affection for his portrayal of characters such as Yashpal in the television series “Anupamaa."

In a post on X, actor Arshad Warsi said, “I am so saddened to know that Ritu Raj passed away. We lived in the same building, he was a part of my first film as a producer. Lost a friend and a great actor."

“He passed away due to cardiac arrest. He was admitted to a hospital some time back for treatment of pancreas returned home had some cardiac complications and passed away," Times of India reported citing a close friend of the actor Amit Behl.

According to his friend, Rituraj Singh had been facing challenges with pancreatic illness. Pancreatic diseases cover a range of conditions impacting the pancreas, a crucial organ situated behind the stomach. Among these, pancreatic cancer is notably one of the most lethal cancers worldwide, frequently detected in late stages due to vague symptoms.

Singh has also appeared in web series such as “Bandish Bandits" and “Made in Heaven," as well as in films like "Badrinath ki Dulhania," “Satyameva Jayate 2," and “Yaariyan 2.".

Source : Mint

Published On : February 20, 2024
Rs.17,000 Crore
Rs.19,000 Crore
Rs.21,000 Crore
Rs.23,000 Crore

Correct Answer :   Rs.21,000 Crore

The government has raised the authorized capital of the state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) from ?10,000 crore to ?21,000 crore, marking a significant stride in bolstering its operational capabilities.
This initiative, announced by the Food Ministry, underscores the government’s commitment to strengthening FCI’s role in ensuring food security and safeguarding farmers’ interests.

About Food Corporation of India (FCI)

* Establishment and Objectives : Founded in 1965 under the Food Corporation Act, 1964, FCI serves as a statutory body under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India.
* Core Objectives : FCI is entrusted with the tasks of providing price support to farmers by.

1. Procuring grains at Minimum Support Prices (MSP),
2. Supplying grains to Public Distribution System (PDS), and
3. Maintaining strategic grain reserves.

Initiatives to Enhance FCI’s Efficiency

* Integrated IT Systems : FCI is implementing integrated IT solutions and adopting e-office initiatives to transition towards a paperless work environment and streamline operational functions effectively.
* Infrastructure Development : FCI is investing in infrastructure projects such as cement road construction, roof maintenance, and weighbridge modernization to enhance operational efficiency.
* Quality Assurance : Efforts are underway to procure lab equipment and develop software platforms for quality assessment, ensuring adherence to stringent quality standards.

Significance of Increased Authorized Capital :

* Operational Strengthening : The augmentation of authorized capital aims to bolster FCI’s operational efficiency, reduce interest burdens, and positively impact government subsidies.
* Modernization Imperative : In addition to financial infusion, the government emphasizes the modernization of storage facilities, transportation networks, and adoption of advanced technologies for enhanced performance.
* Empowering Farmers : The government’s commitment to MSP-based procurement and investment in FCI’s operational capabilities reflects a collaborative approach towards empowering farmers, fortifying the agricultural sector, and ensuring nationwide food security.

Relevance of FCI

* Bedrock of National Food Security : FCI plays a pivotal role in implementing the National Food Security Act, ensuring procurement and distribution to far-flung areas for national food security.
* Response to Crisis : During crises such as the Covid pandemic and migrant crises, FCI has effectively tackled challenges of hunger and starvation.
* Fight against Malnutrition and Poverty : FCI’s role in the Public Distribution System (PDS) contributes to combating malnutrition and poverty, promoting inclusive growth.
* Support to Farmers : By purchasing crops at MSP, FCI provides financial security to farmers, making agriculture remunerative.

Challenges Faced by FCI

* Limited Farmer Participation : Less than 10% of farmers can sell their produce to government agencies due to various factors such as lack of awareness or access to the MSP system, benefiting only large farmers in certain states like Punjab.
* Storage Overload : FCI has stored double the grains than the prescribed buffer limits, leading to a shortage in the open market, inflation, and deterioration of grains due to limited storage capacity.
* Leakages in Distribution : According to NSSO 2011, 40-60% of grains distributed through the Public Distribution System (PDS) are siphoned off, highlighting significant challenges in distribution efficiency and governance.

Published On : February 20, 2024
KVS Manian
Sandeep Bakhshi
Shanti Lal Jain
Sashidhar Jagdishan

Correct Answer :   KVS Manian

Kotak Mahindra Bank, a private sector lender, revealed notable leadership adjustments, such as appointing KVS Manian as JMD (Joint Managing Director) from March 1, 2024.

Private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank recently unveiled significant leadership alterations, signaling a strategic shift within the organization.

KVS Manian Redesignated as Joint Managing Director :

* In a move effective from 1st March, Kotak Mahindra Bank has re-designated KVS Manian, a seasoned professional with nearly three decades of experience within the institution, as the joint managing director.
* Manian, an alumnus of the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (BHU) – Varanasi, brings a wealth of expertise, having obtained degrees in electrical engineering and financial management from renowned institutes.

Shanti Ekambaram Appointed Deputy Managing Director :

* Joining Manian in a pivotal leadership role is Shanti Ekambaram, who has served Kotak Mahindra Bank for over 30 years.
* With a background in commerce and qualifications as a chartered accountant and Cost and Works Accountant, Ekambaram’s appointment as deputy managing director further strengthens the bank’s leadership team.

Devang Gheewalla Named Chief Financial Officer :

* Effective April, Devang Gheewalla will assume the role of chief financial officer, succeeding Jaimin Bhatt.
* With this appointment, Gheewalla will also be designated as the president and group chief financial officer, bringing his extensive financial expertise to the forefront of Kotak Mahindra Bank’s operations.

Milind Nagnur to Serve as Chief Operating Officer :

* In a strategic move aimed at bolstering operational efficiency, Milind Nagnur, the current chief technology officer, will take on the additional responsibility of chief operating officer from April.
* Nagnur’s dual role underscores the bank’s commitment to leveraging technology and enhancing cybersecurity measures.

Paul Parambi Appointed as Group Chief Risk Officer :

* Recognizing the critical importance of risk management, Kotak Mahindra Bank has appointed Paul Parambi as the group chief risk officer, effective from March.
* Parambi, who previously served as the chief risk officer, will play a pivotal role in strengthening the bank’s risk management framework.

Continuity and Growth under New CEO Ashok Vaswani :

* The leadership restructuring follows the appointment of Ashok Vaswani as the new chief executive officer, succeeding founder Uday Kotak.
* Vaswani, a former Barclays veteran, commenced his tenure on 1st January, with the Reserve Bank of India granting approval for a three-year term. His leadership sets the stage for continued growth and innovation at Kotak Mahindra Bank.

Published On : February 20, 2024

Correct Answer :   Dubai

The Bharat Mart facility in Dubai, which has been compared to China’s Dragon Mart, will be built by DP World and is expected to be operational by 2025.

The foundation stone of Bharat Mart, which will combine retail, warehousing and logistics facilities at Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone in Dubai, was laid during a virtual ceremony by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) vice president, Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Wednesday (14th Feb 2024).

Bharat Mart is a joint initiative of DP World, a Dubai-based multinational that specialises in logistics, port terminal operations and maritime services, and India’s commerce ministry that is aimed at boosting exports by Indian small and medium-sized enterprises.

The facility, which has been compared to China’s Dragon Mart, will be built by DP World and is expected to be operational by 2025. The facility, set to cover more than 100,000 sq metres, will help cut the cost and time for shipping goods from India to Africa and Europe.

Modi and Mohamed bin Rashid, who is also the UAE prime minister and ruler of Dubai, expressed confidence that Bharat Mart will further enhance India-UAE trade by leveraging Jebel Ali Port’s strategic location and strength in logistics, the external affairs ministry said in a statement.

Bharat Mart can potentially play a key role in promoting the exports of India’s micro, small and medium sectors by providing them with a platform to reach international buyers in the Gulf, West Asia, Africa and Eurasia, Modi said.

Modi also held a bilateral meeting with Mohamed bin Rashid and discussed bilateral cooperation in a range of areas, including trade, investment, technology, space, education and people-to-people ties.

They expressed satisfaction at the rapidly growing economic and commercial ties between India and the UAE..

Source : Hindustan Times

Published On : February 20, 2024
Himachal Pradesh

Correct Answer :   Chandigarh

The vibrant city of Chandigarh became a melting pot of cultural heritage and artistic innovation as it hosted the 11th International Puppet Festival at Tagore Theatre. The event, inaugurated by Punjab Governor and Administrator of Union Territory Chandigarh, Banwarilal Purohit, alongside Adviser to the Administrator Rajeev Verma and other dignitaries, marked a significant celebration of puppetry’s rich legacy and its enduring appeal across ages.

Inaugural Ceremony and Distinguished Guests :

The inauguration ceremony was graced by the presence of esteemed guests, including Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit, who, along with Rajeev Verma and senior officers, officially kicked off the festivities. The Governor addressed the audience, shedding light on the historical significance of puppet theatre in India, a tradition that dates back to ancient times. He underscored puppetry’s role in entertainment, education, and the preservation of cultural heritage, highlighting its universal presence across various cultures and regions.

Opening Performance by Novosibirsk Regional Puppet Theatre :

The festival commenced with a spellbinding performance by the Novosibirsk Regional Puppet Theatre from Russia, captivating the audience with the renowned puppet show “Petrushka.” This opening act set the tone for the festival, showcasing the global appeal and artistic depth of puppetry.

Accessibility and Engagement :

In a bid to make the festival accessible to a broader audience, the Department organized special morning shows exclusively for school students, while evening shows were open to the general public. This thoughtful scheduling ensured that enthusiasts of all ages had the opportunity to experience the magic of puppetry firsthand.

Puppet Exhibition: A Dive into the Artistry Behind Puppetry :

The festival also featured a Puppet Exhibition at Tagore Theatre, which ran from the opening day until February 21st. This exhibition offered visitors a unique opportunity to explore the art of puppet-making through live demonstrations. Artisans and puppeteers shared their skills and insights, providing a behind-the-scenes look at the intricate craftsmanship that goes into creating these enchanting figures.

Published On : February 20, 2024