Current Affairs 16 February 2024 & Test

Current Affairs 16 February 2024 & Test
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Test - 16 February 2024

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भारत में दुर्गापुर स्टील प्लांट की स्थापना कहां और किसकी सहायता से की गई थी?/ Where and with whose help was Durgapur Steel Plant established in India?

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IPL की चेन्नई सुपर किंग्स टीम का ब्रांड एंबेसडर कौन है? / Who is the brand ambassador of IPL Chennai Super Kings team?

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निम्न में से कौन सी ट्रॉफी क्रिकेट की नहीं है? / Which of the following trophies is not of cricket?

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वर्तमान समय में भारत के पास कुल कितनी महारत्न कंपनी हैं? / How many Maharatna companies does India have at present?

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हाल ही में WHO ने नेल्सन मंडेला पुरस्कार से किसे सम्मानित किया है? / Who has recently been honored with the Nelson Mandela Award by WHO?

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हाल ही में प्रधानमंत्री सूर्योदय योजना का आरंभ कब हुआ है? / When was the Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana started recently?

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प्रधानमंत्री विश्वकर्मा योजना का आरंभ कब हुआ? / When was Pradhan Mantri Vishwakarma Yojana started?

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भारत में ड्रोन शक्ति कार्यक्रम कब और कहां आयोजित हुआ है? / When and where has the Drone Shakti program been organized in India?

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विश्व व्यापार संगठन की महानिदेशक कौन हैं? / Who is the Director General of World Trade Organization?

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विटी कल्चर क्या है ? / What is Viti Culture?

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Some lines of current affairs 16 February 2024 news

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Boeing launches its 1st Global Support Center in India at Gurugram

  • On February 13, 2022, Boeing launched its first Global Support Center in Gurugram, India. It will improve efficiency and safety for airlines and regulators.
  • The center will share knowledge to make Indian airlines safer and more efficient.
  • Boeing plans to build a new logistics center in India to serve its regional customers, focusing initially on airlines.
  • Seven teams of students and entrepreneurs won the Boeing University Innovation Leadership Development program for 2022-23.

About Boeing India:

  • President: Salil Gupte
  • Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka
  • CEO: David L. Calhoun

PMC & TGBL partners to set up India’s 1st Solid Waste to Hydrogen plant in Pune

Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and TheGreenBillions Limited (TGBL) are teaming up to establish India’s first solid waste-to-hydrogen plant in Hadapsar Industrial Estate, Pune, Maharashtra. The project will require an investment of Rs 350 crore, with an additional Rs 82 crore for constructing storage and logistics support. TGBL has a 30-year agreement with PMC for this initiative. The goal is to showcase the viability of waste-to-hydrogen technology both technically and financially.

Key Details:

  • The project involves converting Pune’s municipal non-recyclable waste into hydrogen, with project management consulting from Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL) and technical support from institutions like Bhabha Atomic Research Institute and the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.
  • PMC will pay TGBL Rs 347 per tonne as a tipping fee for waste treatment.
  • The plant aims to process around 350 tonnes of solid waste daily, producing 10 tonnes of hydrogen by 2024.
  • It will utilize plasma gasification technology to generate hydrogen from refuse-derived fuel (RDF).
  • The entire plant is expected to be operational by November 2024, with the first 10-tonne reactor installed by November 2023.

Benefits:

  • The project is anticipated to reduce carbon emissions by up to 2.5 million MT and divert over 3.8 million metric tons of waste from landfills, benefiting around 180,000 households.
  • It will also help conserve approximately 25.16 hectares of land annually by diverting municipal solid waste (MSW) from low-lying urban areas.
  • The facility will utilize optical sensor technology to segregate wet waste, which will be used to produce humic acid-rich bio-fertilisers, contributing to sustainable agriculture with lower carbon emissions.

About Maharashtra:

  • Chief Minister: Eknath Shinde
  • Governor: Ramesh Bais
  • National Park: Sanjay Gandhi National Park
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries: Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary, Chikhaldara Wildlife Sanctuary

Indian Army undertakes Multiple Welfare Activities under Operation Sadbhavana in Ladakh

The Indian Army in Ladakh is engaged in various welfare efforts like operating Army Goodwill Schools and undertaking infrastructure projects to support children in remote areas. These initiatives are part of ‘Operation SADBHAVANA’. There are 7 Army Goodwill Schools in Ladakh under this operation, benefiting over 2,200 students. A budget of Rs 8.82 crore has been allocated for ‘Operation SADBHAVANA’ in Ladakh for the fiscal year 2022–2023.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Global Sea Level Rose by 4.5 mm per year during 2013-22 period: WMO

  • The World Meteorological Department (WMO) reports a 4.5 mm annual rise in global mean sea level from 2013-22, attributing it significantly to human influence since 1971.
  • Sea levels rose by 0.20 m between 1901 and 2018, with rates increasing over time: 1.3 mm per year (1901-1971), 1.9 mm per year (1971-2006), and 3.7 mm per year (2006-2018).
  • Since 1900, sea levels have risen faster than in any previous 3000-year period.
  • Over the next 2000 years, sea levels could rise by 2-3 meters (1.5°C warming), 2-6 meters (2°C warming), or 19-22 meters (5°C warming).
  • Rising sea levels threaten low-lying islands and coastal countries like India, China, Netherlands, and Bangladesh, along with major cities worldwide, impacting economies and populations.
  • A 0.15-meter rise in sea level relative to 2020 levels could increase the population exposed to a 100-year coastal flood by 20%, doubling with a 0.75-meter rise and tripling with a 1.4-meter rise.
  • Rising sea levels pose threats to lives, water, food, and healthcare access, impacting industries such as agriculture, fisheries, and tourism.
  • The 2015 Paris Agreement targets limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with efforts to cap the increase at 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a UN specialized agency headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, has 193 member states and territories, led by President Gerhard Adrian and Secretary General Petteri Taalas.

BANKING & FINANCE

HARBINGER 2023 Innovation for Transformation: RBI announces 2nd Global Hackathon

On February 14, 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) started its second global hackathon called ‘HARBINGER 2023 – Innovation for Transformation,’ focusing on ‘Inclusive Digital Services.’ Registration begins on February 22, 2023. The hackathon, sponsored by RBI, is hosted on the APIX platform. The challenges include creating easy-to-use digital banking services for people with disabilities, developing RegTech solutions for better compliance, exploring CBDC-Retail transactions, and improving blockchain scalability.

Key points

  • Winners of each challenge category receive Rs 40 Lakh, and runners-up get Rs 20 Lakh.
  • Participants can receive mentoring from industry experts, present their solutions to a jury, and win prizes.
  • The first hackathon, held in November 2021, received 363 proposals from teams in India and 22 other countries, including the US, UK, Sweden, Singapore, Philippines, and Israel.

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

  • January 2023: India’s WPI inflation eases to 2-year low of 4.73%; CPI inflation rises to 3-month high at 6.52%
  • In January 2023, India’s wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation dropped to 4.73%, a two-year low, from 4.95% in December 2022, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • The WPI index rose by 0.13% in January 2023, compared to a decline of 1.12% in December 2022.
  • The decline in January 2023 inflation was mainly due to lower prices of mineral oils, chemicals & chemical products, crude petroleum & natural gas, textiles, and food products.
  • The inflation rate based on the WPI Food Index increased from 0.65% in December 2022 to 2.95% in January 2023.

Retail inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), increased to 6.52% in January 2023 from 5.72% in December 2022, according to data from the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation. In January 2023, food prices rose by 5.94%, rural inflation stood at 6.65%, and urban inflation was 4.79%. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) projected inflation for the fiscal year 2022-23 to be 6.5%, with an expectation of 5.7% in the fourth quarter. India uses two indices to measure inflation: the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) and the CPI. The WPI tracks prices at the production or manufacturing level, while the CPI tracks prices at the retail consumer level, with food items being a significant component.

EbixCash becomes 1st Entity in India to enable UPI Transactions for Foreign Nationals

EbixCash World Money Limited, a subsidiary of US-based Ebix Inc, became the first company in India to introduce Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions for foreign nationals visiting the country.

Background:

In February 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) proposed allowing all inbound travelers to India to use UPI for their merchant payments (P2M) while they are in the country. Initially, this was intended for travelers from G-20 countries arriving at selected international airports.

Facility for NRIs:

In January 2023, the NPCI approved UPI transactions for non-resident bank accounts like Non-Resident External (NRE) and Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) linked to international mobile numbers. Initially, transactions from mobile numbers of Non-resident Indians (NRIs) from 10 countries would be allowed: Singapore, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, the United States of America (USA), Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the United Kingdom (UK).

Key Points:
EbixCash is the first to offer UPI services for foreign delegates attending the G-20 summit, with a pilot launch planned in Bangalore during the summit.
It is a major player in India’s airport and seaport Money Exchange business, with retail kiosks in 20 international airports and 12 seaports.
The introduction of UPI for currency exchange at airports in India will allow passengers to convert their foreign currency into digital Indian currency, using a UPI interface to pay for goods and services across the country.

EBIXCASH World Money Limited Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Whole-Time Director – Guruprasad T. Chandrashekaran

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

CCI Approves Acquisition of Certain Equity Share Capital of LT Foods Limited by SIIC

On February 14th, 2023, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved SALIC International Investment Corporation (SIIC) acquiring a portion of LT Foods Limited’s equity share capital, including some control rights, as well as Daawat Foods Limited (DFL), under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002.

Acquirer: SALIC International Investment Corporation (SIIC)
Targets: LT Foods Limited (LT Foods) and Daawat Foods Limited (DFL)

Key Points:

  • SIIC intends to purchase LT Foods’ equity share capital and obtain control rights.
  • The transaction is notified under relevant sections of the Competition Act, 2002.

About SALIC International Investment Corporation (SIIC):

  • SIIC, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is an unlisted limited liability company.
  • It’s owned and controlled by the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC).
  • SALIC is an investment company with interests in global agriculture and food commodity businesses.
  • Its agri-business includes farming, procurement, and importing goods into Saudi Arabia.

About LT Foods Limited:

  • LT Foods is a 70-year-old consumer food company specializing in rice-based foods worldwide.
  • Daawat Foods Limited is a subsidiary of LT Foods.
  • LT Foods and DFL’s basmati and specialty rice business in India include brands like Daawat, Heritage, Devaaya, Chef Secretz, and Rozana, catering to various consumer segments.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Indian Army, ADRIN signs MoU to co-develop niche technology

The Indian Army partnered with ADRIN, a research institute at ISRO, to develop specialized technology meeting the army’s evolving needs. This collaboration aims to prioritize the creation of multi-domain technology and capabilities tailored for the Indian Army’s requirements. ADRIN, under the Department of Space, will focus on creating technology for real-time situational awareness and swift decision-making. ADRIN is based in Secunderabad, Telangana, with Anurag Shukla serving as its Central Public Information Officer. Additionally, the Ministry of Defence recently contracted Larsen & Toubro (L&T) to supply 41 indigenous Modular Bridges for the Indian Army’s Corps of Engineers. For context, the Indian Army’s headquarters is located in New Delhi, established on April 1, 1895, with General Manoj Pande serving as the Chief of the Army Staff.

Aero India 2023: Garuda Aerospace reveals SURAJ, a solar-powered drone.

On February 15, 2023, Garuda Aerospace Pvt Ltd introduced “SURAJ,” a solar-powered surveillance drone, at Aero India 2023 in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The drone, designed for high-altitude reconnaissance, aims to provide real-time data to military commanders and enhance ground troops’ safety.

The 1:1 prototype of SURAJ is set to be operational by August 2023. Key features include:

  • Equipped with high-resolution zoom cameras and thermal imagery for real-time data capture.
  • Utilizes solar-powered cells on its J-shaped wings for extended flight time.
  • Capable of flying at 3,000 feet altitude for up to 12 hours.

Garuda Aerospace Pvt Ltd plans to support various Indian and global defense entities with SURAJ, including the Indian military branches, border security forces, and research organizations.

About Garuda Aerospace Pvt Ltd:

  • Founded in 2015 by Agnishwar Jayaprakash.
  • Based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

ENVIRONMENT

1st Sundarban Bird Festival: 145 bird species spotted in Sundarban Biosphere Reserve

  • During the first Sundarban Bird Festival, organized by the Sundarban Tiger Reserve and West Bengal Forest Department, 145 different bird species were spotted by wildlife enthusiasts and forest officials.
  • Six teams explored various parts of the Sunderban Biosphere Reserve over two days to spot these birds.
  • The festival took place from February 7th to 10th, 2023, at Sajnekhali Beat Complex, Sundarban Tiger Reserve.

Key findings from the festival include:

  • 145 bird species were spotted, including 78 forest birds, 42 wader species, 12 raptor species, six waterfowl species, and seven others.
  • Seven out of the nine kingfisher species found in Sundarban were spotted.
  • Notable sightings include Eurasian curlew, lesser sand plover, and brown hawk owl.
  • Bird sightings were distributed as follows: 86 species in the core zone, 128 in the buffer zone, and 71 outside the protected area.

Additional information:

  • According to studies by the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and the publication “Birds of Sundarban Biosphere Reserve,” 428 bird species are documented in the Sundarban biosphere reserve.
  • Sundarbans National Park, a national park, tiger reserve, and biosphere reserve in West Bengal, India, harbors the largest population of Bengal Tigers, an endangered species.
  • Sundarbans, located between India and Bangladesh, is the largest single block of tidal, halophytic mangrove forests globally.
  • It consists of 54 islands formed by the rivers Ganga and Brahmaputra.

SPORTS

Khelo India Winter Games 2023 held in Gulmarg in J&K; J&K Tops Medal Tally with 76 medals

The 3rd edition of Khelo India Winter Games, KIWG 2023, the first multi-sport competition of its kind in India, took place in Gulmarg, Baramulla District, North Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), from February 10th to 14th, 2023.

Nisith Pramanik, Union Minister of State (MoS) for the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MoYAS), was the chief guest at the closing ceremony of KIWG 2023, where he distributed medals to the winners. J&K topped the medal tally with 76 medals: 26 Golds, 25 Silvers, and 25 Bronzes.

J&K, with the highest number of gold medals, was declared the overall winner of KIWG 2023.

Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports:

  • Union Minister: Anurag Singh Thakur (Constituency: Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh)
  • Minister of State: Nisith Pramanik (Constituency: Coochbehar, West Bengal)

5th edition of Khelo India Youth Games held in Madhya Pradesh; Maharashtra tops Medal Tally

The 5th edition of the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG 2022) was hosted by Madhya Pradesh from January 30 to February 11, 2023. Maharashtra emerged as the overall champion, securing the top spot in the medal tally with 161 medals (56 gold, 55 silver, and 50 bronze). Haryana (40 golds) and Madhya Pradesh (39 golds) ranked 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Madhya Pradesh became the 5th Indian state to host the Khelo India Youth Games. The sporting events took place at 11 venues across 8 cities in Madhya Pradesh and New Delhi (for Track Cycling). During KIYG 2023, 11 athletes from various sports set 15 new youth national records.

Regarding the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports:

  • Union Minister: Anurag Singh Thakur (Representing Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh)
  • Minister of State: Nisith Pramanik (Representing Coochbehar, West Bengal)

Pakistani cricketer Kamran Akmal announces Retirement from All Forms of Cricket

On February 14, 2023, Kamran Akmal, a 41-year-old Pakistani cricketer, retired from all cricket. He was named chair of Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) U19 selection committee and a member of the senior men’s selection committee. He began his international career in 2002 (Tests and ODIs) and in 2006 (T20Is), playing 53 Tests, 157 ODIs, and 58 T20Is, scoring 6871 runs with 11 centuries. Akmal was part of Pakistan’s T20 World Cup-winning team in 2009 and played six IPL games for Rajasthan Royals in 2008. He’s now coaching for Peshawar Zalmi in preparation for PSL 2023.

FIFA 2026 : US, Canada, Mexico automatically qualify for the 2026 FIFA world cup

The USA, Mexico, and Canada will automatically qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which they’re hosting together. This is the first time FIFA has awarded hosting rights to three nations. The tournament will expand to 48 teams in 2026.

Host nations now get automatic qualification to the World Cup, without needing to go through qualifiers. Canada, Mexico, and the USA, as hosts, will skip qualifiers and advance directly to the final round. This reduces the available slots for other CONCACAF teams to three out of six, with CONCACAF comprising 41 member associations.

In 2023, Saudi Arabia will host the FIFA Club World Cup from December 12th to 22nd.

OBITUARY

Shoichiro Toyoda, Honorary Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation Passed Away

On February 14, 2023, Shoichiro Toyoda, the Honorary Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), died in Aichi, Japan, at 97 years old. He was born on February 27, 1925, in Aichi, Japan, the eldest son of Kiichiro Toyoda, who founded Toyota in 1937.

Shoichiro Toyoda joined Toyota in 1952 and held various positions, including President from 1982 to 1992. He later became the chairman of TMC from 1992 to 1999, and then served as Honorary Chairman until his passing.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Childhood Cancer Day 2023 – February 15

Every February 15, International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) is celebrated worldwide to raise awareness and show support for children, teens, and families affected by cancer.

The main focus of ICCD 2023 is achieving “Better Survival” with the hashtag #throughtheirhands. The gold ribbon is the global symbol for childhood cancer awareness.

Background:

  • ICCD began in 2002 through Childhood Cancer International (CCI), a network of 183 organizations spanning 94 countries and 5 continents.
  • CCI and the International Society of Pediatric Oncologists (SIOP) are the founding organizations of ICCD.
  • The inaugural International Childhood Cancer Day was on February 15, 2002.

About the World Health Organization (WHO):

  • Director-General: Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Established: 1948

STATE NEWS

Renault-Nissan Alliance to Invest Rs. 5,300 Crore Over 5 Years, Signs MoU with TN Govt

  • Renault and Nissan, two major carmakers, agreed with the Tamil Nadu government for Rs. 5,300 crore (USD 600 million).
  • They will work together on six new vehicles, including two fully electric ones, from their Chennai base.
  • Of these new models, each company will develop three on shared platforms, while maintaining their brand styles.
  • Four new C-segment SUVs will be included, and two A-segment electric vehicles will be launched in India.

In Tamil Nadu (TN):

  • Chief Minister: M.K. Stalin
  • Governor: Ravindra Narayana Ravi
  • National Parks: Mukurthi and Mudumalai.

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