Daily Current Affairs 6 February 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates NIT Goa campus
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate the permanent campus of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Goa. The event, expected to be conducted virtually, will be attended by key dignitaries including Sreedharan Pillai, Governor of Goa, Dr. Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister of Goa, Union Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan and others.
- NIT Goa commenced its operations at a temporary location within the premises of Goa Engineering College in 2010 and gradually took shape in Cuncolim, South Goa, with support from the Ministry of Education in 2023.
- The Goa government allocated 113 acres of land in Cuncolim for the permanent campus in July 2017, and the foundation stone was laid in December 2018. Construction, utilizing RCC Precast 3S Technology, began in May 2019, covering 46 acres initially. The campus, costing Rs 390.83 crore, boasts a built-up area of 70750 sqm, accommodating 1,260 students.
Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pralhad Joshi launches C-CARES, web portal of CMPFO
Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pralhad Joshi launched a web portal of CMPFO namely C- CARES developed and designed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), an R&D organization under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology .
- This marks a significant leap in the digitization journey of CMPFO aiming to address the long-standing issue of digitizing its records and work processes.
- The portal, C-CARES, will allow CMPF subscribers and coal companies to login and perform various functions tailored to their needs. While the subscribers can access and view their individual details and subscription status, the coal management can submit contribution details, subscribers’ particulars and claims for online settlement and payment through the portal.
- It will also ensure paperless working, timely and accurate settlement of claims, reduction in processing time and grievance redressal.The portal being a public service platform is intended to benefit the CMPF subscribers who are working in the coal sector as well as its pensioners.
GHAR (GO Home and Re-Unite) Portal for Restoration and Repatriation of Child launched by NCPCR
The Ministry of Women and Child Development developed the “Track Child Portal”, which enables tracking of the missing and found children in all States/UTs including Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, North Eastern States and Jharkhand.
- The Track Child portal is implemented with support and involvement of various stakeholders namely Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Railways, State Governments/ UT Administrations, Child Welfare Committees, Juvenile Justice Boards, National Legal Services Authority, etc. Standard operating procedure have been issued for the “TrackChild” Portal.
- Further, a portal namely GHAR – GO Home and Re-Unite (Portal for Restoration and Repatriation of Child) has been developed and launched by NCPCR. The GHAR portal has been developed to digitally monitor and track the restoration and repatriation of children as per the protocols under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and Rules thereof.
Cabinet approves Signing and ratification of Bilateral Investment Treaty between India and United Arab Emirates
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for signing and ratification of Bilateral Investment Treaty between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the United Arab Emirates.
- The Treaty is expected to improve the confidence of the investors, especially large investors, resulting in an increase in Foreign Investments and Overseas Direct Investment (ODI) opportunities and this may have a positive impact on employment generation.
- The approval is expected to increase investments in India and is likely to help in realizing the goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat by encouraging domestic manufacturing, reducing import dependence, increasing exports etc.
Ajanta Ellora Festival held in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar from Feb 2-4
The Ellora – Ajanta International Festival, held in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar concluded marking the end of a three-day musical extravaganza that delighted audiences with a rich cultural treat.
- After a seven-year hiatus, the event returned in 2023. Now, the district plans to host it annually in early February. District Guardian Minister Sandipan Bhumre, along with Ministers Atul Save and Abdul Sattar, and MLA Sanjay Shirsath, inaugurated the festival amidst grandeur, symbolized by the traditional lamp lighting ceremony.
- “Purvarang” and “Uttarrang” events will also be organised before and after the festival at various venues in the city, where local artistes will perform, chief advisor Dilip Shinde said.
Cabinet approves continuation of Scheme for Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies for export of Apparel/Garments
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the continuation of Scheme for Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) for export of Apparel/Garments and Made ups upto 31st March 2026.
- Continuation of Scheme for proposed duration of two (2) years will provide stable policy regime which is essential for long term trade planning, more so in the textiles sector where orders can be placed in advance for long term delivery.
- The continuation of RoSCTL will ensure predictability and stability in policy regime, help remove the burden of taxes and levies and provide level playing field on the principle that “goods are exported and not domestic taxes”.
Cabinet approves marketing margin for supply of Domestic gas to Fertilizer (Urea) for the Period May 2009 – November 2015
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for determination of Marketing Margin on supply of domestic gas to Fertilizer (Urea) Units for the period from May 1, 2009 to November 17, 2015.
- This approval is a structural reform. Marketing Margin is charged by gas marketing company from consumers over and above the cost of gas for taking on the additional risk and cost associated with marketing of gas. Government had previously determined marketing margin on supply of domestic gas to urea and LPG producers in 2015.
- The approval will provide additional capital to the various Fertilizer (Urea) Units for the component of marketing margins paid by them on domestic gas procured during the period 01.05.2009 to 17.11.2015, based on rates already being paid from 18.11.2015 onwards.
Yogi govt will equip Ayodhya with ‘State of the Art Centralized GIS Data Centre’
The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government is set to establish a cutting-edge Centralized GIS Data Centre in Ayodhya under the Ayodhya Development Authority (ADA).
- This initiative aligns with the Chief Minister’s vision to enhance the city’s infrastructure and efficiently manage the ongoing 141 projects worth Rs 30,977 crore, aimed at restoring Ayodhya’s historical grandeur.
- In such a situation, the way has been paved for evaluating the operations of more than 37 agencies involved in these projects, assessing project progress and fostering the development of the geo ecosystem along with the compilation and integration of crucial information.
Cabinet approves extension of Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the continuation of Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) to be implemented under Infrastructure Development Fund (IDF) with an outlay of Rs.29,610.25 crore for another three years up to 2025-26.
- The scheme will incentivize investments for Dairy processing and product diversification, Meat processing and product diversification, Animal Feed Plant, Breed multiplication farm, Animal Waste to Wealth Management (Agri-waste management) and Veterinary vaccine and drug production facilities.
- Government of India will provide 3% interest subvention for 8 years including two years of moratorium for loan up to 90% from the scheduled bank and National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), NABARD and NDDB. The eligible entities are individuals, Private Companies, FPO, MSME, Section 8 companies. Now the Dairy Cooperatives will also avail benefits for modernization, strengthening of the dairy plants.
BHU gets automated DNA extractor machine
Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has initiated two groundbreaking endeavors: the establishment of the Human DNA Bank and the imminent completion of the Wildlife DNA Bank.
- These initiatives, powered by cutting-edge technologies such as the Automated DNA Extractor Machine, epitomize India’s commitment to innovation and indigenous manufacturing under the Make in India initiative.
- BHU’s Human DNA Bank and Wildlife DNA Bank represent pivotal milestones in genetic research. The Automated DNA Extractor Machine, a testament to Indian ingenuity, expedites the extraction of genetic material from diverse biological sources, facilitating comprehensive studies in personalized medicine, wildlife conservation, and beyond.
Cabinet approves Scheme of Sugar Subsidy for AAY Families under PDS
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narender Modi approved extension of scheme of sugar subsidy for Antyodya Anna Yojna (AAY) families distributed through Public Distribution Scheme (PDS) for two more years i.e. 31 March 2026.
- Under the Scheme, the Central Government gives subsidy of Rs.18.50 per kg per month of sugar to AAY families of participating States. The approval is expected to extend benefits of more than Rs.1850 crore during period of 15th Finance Commission (2020-21 to 2025-26). The scheme is expected to benefit about 1.89 crores AAY families of the country.
- With this approval, the Government will continue giving subsidy to participating States for distribution of sugar to AAY families through PDS at the rate of One kg per family per month. States have the responsibility to procure and distribute sugar.
Govt launches Bharat rice at Rs 29/kg
The government launched ‘Bharat rice’ at a subsidised rate of Rs 29 per kilogram to provide relief to consumers amid a 15 per cent rise in retail prices of the grain in the last one year. In each kg of ‘Bharat rice’, there will be 5 per cent of broken rice
- Launching the subsidised rice that will be available in 5 kg and 10 kg packs, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal said the government is making efforts to ensure that daily food items are available at affordable rates for the common people.
- He also flagged off 100 mobile vans that will sell ‘Bharat rice’ and also distributed 5 kg packs to five beneficiaries.
- The Food Corporation of India (FCI) will provide 5 lakh tonne of rice to two cooperatives — National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India (NCCF) — as well as retail chain Kendriya Bhandar in the first phase.
- These agencies will further pack the rice in 5 kg and 10 kg packs and retail through their outlets under the ‘Bharat’ brand. The rice will also be sold through e-commerce platforms.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI imposes Rs 8.80 lakh fine on Power Finance Corp for norm violation
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed a monetary fine of Rs 8.80 lakh on the state-owned Power Finance Corporation for contravening Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) norms by including ineligible high-quality liquid assets.
- According to a press release by the RBI, PFC did not adhere to specific provisions of the RBI’s directives on ‘Liquidity Risk Management Framework for Non-Banking Financial Companies and Core Investment Companies’.
- The Risk Assessment Report and Inspection Report with reference to the company indicated that it failed to maintain the prescribed LCR of 60 per cent as of March 31, 2022, due to the inclusion of ineligible assets as High-Quality Liquid Assets (HQLA) in the computation of the LCR.
HDFC Bank Group gets RBI nod to acquire up to 9.5% stakes in Yes Bank, IndusInd & 4 others
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approved HDFC Bank Group’s proposal to acquire “aggregate holding” of up to 9.50 percent in six banks including Axis Bank, Bandhan Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Suryoday Small Finance Bank, and Yes Bank.
- The approvals were issued following applications made by HDFC Bank (acting as a promoter/sponsor of the Group) to RBI on December 18, 2023. The RBI’s approval is valid for one year from the date of the RBI’s letter, expiring on February 4, 2025.
- HDFC Bank is required to ensure that the “aggregate holding” in the aforementioned banks does not surpass 9.50 percent of the paid-up share capital or voting rights of the respective banks at any given time.
Govt doubles gold bond issuance to ₹3500 crore for next fiscal
In a strategic move, the Indian government has decided to substantially increase the issuance of Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB) for the upcoming fiscal year. The allocation for SGBs has been more than doubled, rising from ₹1,500 crore in the financial year ending March 31, 2023, to a significant ₹3,500 crore for the fiscal year 2024-25.
- The Sovereign Gold Bond, overseen by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has emerged as a preferred investment avenue, effectively channeling investor interest towards financial instruments rather than physical gold. This approach aids in curbing the current account deficit by controlling gold imports.
- Despite a 20% surge in gold imports to 781 tonnes last year, the success of SGBs in attracting financial investors has played a crucial role in managing gold demand amidst rising prices.
- The next issuance of Sovereign Gold Bonds is scheduled for subscription between February 12-16, offering investors an opportunity to participate in a financial instrument with a tenure of eight years and the option for premature redemption after the fifth year. The maximum subscription limit is set at 4 kg for individuals and 20 kg for trusts and similar entities per fiscal year, providing flexibility for a diverse range of investors.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Ericsson and IIT Kharagpur partner for joint research in AI and Edge Computing
Ericsson and IIT Kharagpur have announced a long-term partnership for joint research in the area of artificial intelligence, compute and radio. In the two agreements inked under the collaboration, researchers from both sides will work with each other to develop new AI and distributed compute technology towards 6G research.
- A symposium on Radio and Network research was organised at GS Sanyal School of Telecommunications (GSSST) where leaders from Ericsson Research and IIT Kharagpur participated to discuss about the future of networks and communication.
- AI and compute research is instrumental to Ericsson’s 6G networks as the compute offload needs to be managed dynamically at the edge and the policies would primarily be driven by AI. These themes of research are well aligned with IIT Kharagpur and both organisations view this partnership as a way to push the boundaries of fundamental and applied research in the radio domain.
Adani Group’s $1.2-bn copper plant to boost India’s metal production
The Gautam Adani-led Adani Group is constructing the world’s largest single-location copper manufacturing plant in Mundra, Gujarat. This $1.2 billion facility, set to commence its first phase operations by March-end, aims to reach a full-scale production capacity of 1 million tonnes by 2029.
- This strategic move aligns with India’s efforts to reduce dependence on copper imports and support the global shift towards sustainable energy sources.
- The USD 1.2-billion facility will start operations of the first phase by March-end and full-scale 1 million tonnes capacity by FY29 (March 2029), two sources with knowledge of the matter.
- India joins China and other nations that are rapidly expanding production of copper, a metal crucial for transition away from fossil fuels. Technologies critical to the energy transition like electric vehicles (EVs), charging infrastructure, solar photovoltaics (PV), wind and batteries, all require copper.
Karnataka clinches Nagesh Trophy, beats Andhra Pradesh by 9 wickets
Karnataka clinched the Nagesh Trophy, marking a significant milestone in the Men’s National T20 Cricket Tournament for the Blind 2023-24. The thrilling final, held in Nagpur, saw Karnataka defeating Andhra Pradesh by nine wickets, ending a 20-year wait for a national title.
- This victory not only showcased the exceptional talent of the visually impaired cricketers but also highlighted the spirit of resilience and determination that defines the sport.
- Andhra Pradesh, known for their dominant performance throughout the tournament, set a challenging target of 237/5 in their 20 overs. With in-form batters like T. Durga Rao and D. Venkateswara Rao at the helm, Andhra Pradesh displayed commendable skill, setting the stage for an intense finale. Captain T. Durga Rao’s stellar century propelled the team to a formidable total, putting pressure on Karnataka to deliver an extraordinary response.
Azerbaijan Wins YCO 2024 Gold, Philippines and Nepal share Silver and Italy Bronze
The historic and grand 10th International IIHM Young Chef Olympiad drew to a close at a glamorous Closing Ceremony organised in Kolkata. Azerbaijan’s Leyla Valiyeva won the coveted gold trophy. The silver was shared between Philippines’ Clifford Jeff Cadunggo Unabia and Kamal Thapa of Nepal. Italy’s Francesco Orsi lifted the bronze trophy.
- Besides the top three, YCO 2024 had a long list of special category winners. The Plate Trophy round that was held between the next best teams ranked between 11 to 20 in the competition, went to India’s Lenin Bopanna. The Kitchen Cut Management Award went to New Zealand. The Best Vegetarian Dish went to Nepal while the Best Creme Souffle a l’Orange went to Italy.
- Six Best Mentor Nominee Awards were given away based on each of the mentor’s recommendations about their respective participants. The awards went to Greece, Jordan, Netherlands, Ethiopia, Botswana and Equatorial Guinea. The six Best Young Chef Ambassador Awards went to Australia, Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Scotland, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
- Participants were also marked on Best Hygiene and Kitchen Practice maintained during competition and this award went to six countries, namely, Namibia, Portugal, England, Bulgaria, Armenia, Azerbaijan. The Best Knife Skills Award went to Thailand, Portugal, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Lord Bilimoria Rising Stars Award went to Namibia, Albania, Uzbekistan, Mauritius, Ireland and Oman. The Gold Global Sustainability Award went to Kenya. The Spirit of Young Chef Olympiad International Award went to Lesotho.
- The Dr Bose Challenge Trophy that was introduced this year for participants who did not come in the top 20 teams, went to Kenya and Switzerland.
Tata AIA Life appoints Venkatachalam H as MD and CEO
The board of Tata AIA Life Insurance has approved the appointment of President and Chief Distribution Officer Venkatachalam H as MD and CEO, subject to regulatory approval.
- The appointment is subject to approval from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
- Venkatachalam will take over from the incumbent, Naveen Tahilyani, who will be moving to another role in the Tata Group and has been elevated as a Non-Executive Director of Tata AIA Life Insurance Company. Naveen Tahilyani has been serving as MD & CEO of the life insurance company since 2020.
Abhinav Bindra selected as torchbearer for the 2024 Paris Olympics
Abhinav Bindra, India’s first individual gold medallist at the Olympic Games, has been selected as a torchbearer for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympic Games. He will be part of the Olympic torch relay to be held from April 16 to July 26.
- Bindra, a member of the Athletes Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), clinched the gold medal in the men’s 10m air rifle event at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
- The torch relay is set to last 68 days, covering 65 territories, including five overseas territories. A total of 11,000 torchbearers have been selected throughout France, with 10,000 participating in the Olympic Torch Relay and 1,000 in the Paralympic Torch Relay.
ADB Appoints Mio Oka as New Country Director for India
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced the appointment of Mio Oka as its new Country Director for India, succeeding Takeo Konishi.
- Ms. Oka brings nearly three decades of professional experience, including over 18 years with ADB, to her new role. Her appointment marks a significant milestone in ADB’s continued partnership with India in supporting its development goals and economic growth.
- As the new Country Director, Ms. Oka will be responsible for steering ADB’s operations in India and fostering relations with the government and other development partners. She will lead the implementation of ADB’s country partnership strategy for India, designed to catalyze robust, climate-resilient, and inclusive private sector-led growth.
Maha Gaurav 2024 award presented to Nikhil Wagh by Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar
Nikhil Mukund Wagh, who works as a Public Relations Officer at Goa Shipyard Limited, was recently given the “Maha Gaurav 2024” award.
- This award was handed to him by Shri Ajit Pawar, the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, during a ceremony at Kaneri Math in Kolhapur. The award is a big deal because it recognizes Nikhil’s great work in public relations.
- Currently, Wagh holds the post of Public Relations Officer at the Goa Shipyard Limited, which operates under the Ministry of Defence.His dedication and remarkable work in promoting positive public relations was acknowledged through this special recognition.
Swachchta Pakhwada Awards 2024
‘SwachhtaPakhwada’ awards were presented to recognize outstanding contributions towards cleanliness and sanitation initiatives by various organizations of MoPSW (Minister of State for the Ports, Shipping & Waterways).
- The first prize was awarded to the Inland Waterways Authority of India; The second prize was secured by the Indian Maritime University (IMU) and Visakhapatnam port was honored with the third award, underscoring its commendable commitment to maintaining cleanliness standards.
- The Visakhapatnam Port Authority (VPA) clinched the top position among all major ports, reaffirming its commitment to cleanliness and hygiene.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Gaganyaan’s expected launch by end of 2025, says ISRO chief
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S. Somanath has said that ‘Gaganyaan’, the country’s first human space flight programme, is expected to be launched by the end of 2025.
- The nation will have a space station by the year 2035. The ISRO is already working on Chandrayaan-4 to retrieve samples from the moon, he said after receiving the Sree Sankara Award instituted by the Adi Sankara Trust at a programme held at Sree Sarada Vidyalaya, Kalady.
- The Gaganyaan project envisages a demonstration of human spaceflight capability by launching a crew of three members into an orbit of 400 km for a three-day mission and bringing them back safely to earth by landing in Indian sea waters.