Table of Contents
Read the most important current affairs of 13 January 2024. Today Current Affairs covers the headlines on ‘Sahyog Kaijin’, Year of Technology Absorption, IGBC Green Campus Rating, Tenzing Norgay Award.
Top 24 Current Affairs and News Headlines of 13 January 2024
1.Fresh Oil Discovery in Krishna-Godavari Basin by ONGC
- The recent announcement by the Indian government regarding a fresh oil discovery in the Krishna-Godavari Basin signifies a major breakthrough in the country’s energy sector.
- The discovery, led by the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), is located near Kakinada’s coastline in the Bay of Bengal.
- The oil has been extracted from the Krishna Godavari Deep-Water Block 98/2, approximately 30 kilometers off the coast of Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. This new crude discovery in the Krishna-Godavari Basin is a pivotal moment in India’s energy landscape.
- Union Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced that the production is expected to reach 45,000 barrels per day by mid-2024, which will account for about 7% of India’s total crude oil production.
2.Maharashtra Government Declares New Atpadi Conservation Reserve in Sangli District
- The Government of Maharashtra has recently declared the establishment of a new Conservation Reserve in the Atpadi region of Sangli district, named the ‘Atpadi Conservation Reserve’.
- The Atpadi Conservation Reserve hosts a diverse range of flora and fauna. It includes three types of forest cover: Semi-evergreen, moist deciduous, and dry deciduous. The area is home to 36 tree species, 116 herb species, 15 shrub species, 14 vine species, and 1 parasitic plant.
- A key objective of the Atpadi Conservation Reserve is to preserve the habitat of various mammals like wolves, jackals, deer, foxes, civets, rabbits, and other species. The establishment of the reserve will play a crucial role in the protection of these wildlife corridors.
3.International Camel Festival Kicked Off in Bikaner, Rajasthan
- The three-day International Camel Festival kicked off with great fervor in the culturally rich district of Bikaner, Rajasthan.
- On the inaugural day of the festival, the streets came alive with the vibrant hues of decorated camels, traditional robes, and women adorned in colorful costumes.
- The Heritage Walk, starting from Rampuriya Haveli, saw the enthusiastic participation of folk artists, adding a touch of authenticity to the cultural fiesta. Local folk artists mesmerized the onlookers with traditional songs, Rammats, and captivating dances, offering a glimpse into the rich local culture.
4.Shanghai’s NDB Commits $500 Million Loan for Gujarat’s Infrastructure Development
- The Shanghai-based New Development Bank (NDB) inked an agreement during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, pledging a substantial $500 million loan to the Gujarat government. This financial infusion is earmarked for the Mukhayamantri Gram Sadak Yojana, a pivotal project in the state.
- The allocated funds will facilitate the construction of approximately 1,200 kilometers of roads, a critical initiative for enhancing connectivity and accessibility across the state.
- Beyond the financial support, NDB is poised to contribute knowledge and expertise. The focus extends to reinforcing the rural road network through the adoption of cutting-edge technology, environmentally conscious practices, and the implementation of safer road designs.
5.DRDO Achieves Success In Akash-NG Missile Flight Test
- The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) achieved a significant milestone with the successful flight test of the New Generation AKASH (AKASH-NG) missile.
- The test, conducted at the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha, showcased the system’s capability to intercept high-speed unmanned aerial targets at very low altitudes.
- The flight test targeted a high-speed unmanned aerial vehicle flying at a low altitude. The AKASH-NG missile system, comprising the missile with an indigenously developed Radio Frequency Seeker, Launcher, Multi-Function Radar, and Command, Control, and Communication system, successfully intercepted and destroyed the designated target.
6.Indian Army to Observe 2024 as the Year of Technology Absorption
- In a significant step towards modernization and operational efficiency, the Indian Army has declared 2024 as the “Year of Technology Absorption.”
- The primary objective of this initiative is to use technology as a driving force for transformative change, focusing on operational and logistic requirements and collaborating with the domestic defence industry for project development.
- A notable aspect of this initiative is Project SAMBHAV, an end-to-end secure, network-agnostic mobile ecosystem that operates on state-of-the-art 5G technology. It is designed to provide secure communication with instant connectivity on the move.
- The Army has identified 355 posts where it has requested 4G connectivity from the telecom ministry. The focus is also on infrastructure improvements at forward airfields, villages, helipads, and underground storage facilities.
7.Joint Exercise ‘Sahyog Kaijin’ Between Indian and Japanese Coast Guards
- The Indian and Japanese Coast Guards have recently conducted a successful joint exercise named ‘Sahyog Kaijin’ off the coast of Chennai.
- This exercise is a part of the ongoing collaboration between the two countries under the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) signed in 2006.
- The joint exercise, which commenced on January 8, focused on enhancing interoperability and sharing best practices in maritime law enforcement, search and rescue operations, and pollution response at sea.
- The exercise underscores the strong maritime cooperation between India and Japan and aids in further strengthening their ties and mutual understanding.
8.India’s Outward FDI Plummeted to $2.25 Billion in December 2023: RBI Data
- India witnessed a sharp decline in its outward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) commitments, dropping to $2.25 billion in December 2023, as revealed by data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
- Equity commitments witnessed a notable decline, falling to $646.7 million in December 2023 from $1.38 billion in December 2022 and significantly lower than the $1.09 billion recorded in November 2023.
- Debt commitments decreased to $625.91 million in December 2023, down from $1.15 billion a year ago. However, it showed an increase from $190.05 million in November 2023.
- Guarantees for overseas units saw a substantial decline to $978.19 million in December 2023 from $1.58 billion in December 2022. This was also a notable decrease compared to the $2.72 billion recorded in November 2023, according to RBI data.
9.India’s Retail Inflation Reaches 4-Month High at 5.69% in December
- India’s headline retail inflation surged to a four-month high of 5.69% in December, disclosed by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on January 12.
- Despite exceeding November’s 5.55%, it fell short of economists’ 5.9% prediction. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) showcased a month-on-month decrease of 0.3%.
- While retail inflation has persisted above the Reserve Bank of India’s 4% target for 51 consecutive months, it fell below expectations for the second consecutive month.
- Core inflation, excluding food and fuel, dipped to 3.9%. The lower-than-expected December figures provide relief to policymakers ahead of the interim budget and the Monetary Policy Committee’s decision in February, maintaining the 6.5% policy repo rate for the past five meetings.
10.RBI Penalizes Three Banks for Violations: Dhanlaxmi, Punjab and Sind, ESAF
- In a recent announcement on January 12, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) disclosed monetary penalties imposed on Dhanlaxmi Bank, Punjab and Sind Bank, and ESAF Small Finance Bank.
- Dhanlaxmi Bank (Penalty: Rs 1.20 Crore): Failed to obtain PAN or Form 60 for specific term deposit accounts. Allocated multiple Customer Identification Codes instead of a Unique Customer Identification Code.
- Punjab and Sind Bank (Penalty: Rs 1 Crore): Sanctioned a term loan to a Corporation without due diligence on project viability and revenue streams. Utilized budgetary resources for projects without ensuring sufficient revenue for debt servicing.
- ESAF Small Finance Bank (Penalty: Rs 29.55 Lakh): Allowed Basic Savings Bank Deposit account holders to open additional savings accounts. Failed to close certain savings accounts within the stipulated 30 days from opening BSBD accounts.
11.SBI Launches Green Rupee Term Deposit (SGRTD)
- State Bank of India (SBI), the largest bank in the country, has introduced a special fixed deposit scheme known as the SBI Green Rupee Term Deposit (SGRTD).
- This initiative aims to gather funds dedicated to supporting environmentally-friendly projects, contributing to the development of a green finance ecosystem in India.
- Green deposit refers to an interest-bearing deposit received by regulated entities (RE) for a fixed period, with the proceeds earmarked for allocation towards green finance as per RBI’s notification dated April 11, 2023.
12.NPCI Launches UPI-PayNow Linkage for Cross-Border Remittances between India and Singapore
- The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has introduced the UPI-PayNow linkage, facilitating direct remittances between India and Singapore.
- This collaboration, a result of close coordination between the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), aims to enhance financial inclusion and convenience in cross-border transactions.
- Third-party applications and additional banks, including Bank of Baroda, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and more, are expected to be integrated into the UPI-PayNow linkage soon.
- UPI users in India can send remittances to PayNow users in Singapore using their mobile numbers or virtual payment addresses, fostering seamless cross-border transactions.
13.Government Approves 1-Year Extension For RBI Deputy Governor Michael Patra
- The Indian government has recently announced the extension of the tenure of Michael Debabrata Patra as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for an additional year.
- This marks the second time the government has decided to prolong his tenure, showcasing confidence in his leadership and expertise in steering critical departments within the RBI.
- The decision to extend MD Patra’s term was officially approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). According to a notification from the ACC’s Secretariat, the re-appointment is effective from January 15, 2024, or until further orders, whichever comes earlier.
14.Tata Consumer Products Acquires 100% Stake in Capital Foods for ₹5,100 Crore
- Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL), on January 12, revealed its plans to acquire a 100% stake in Capital Foods, renowned for brands such as ‘Ching’s Secret’ and ‘Smith & Jones,’ for a substantial ₹5,100 crore.
- The strategic acquisition is structured in phases, with an initial 75% equity shareholding secured upfront and the remaining 25% to be acquired over the next three years.
- Aligned with TCPL’s broader vision to diversify its product offerings, this move aims to tap into rapidly growing and high-margin segments within the packaged foods sector. Capital Foods, a prominent player in this domain, boasts robust brands and a diverse product range tailored for in-home consumption.
15.‘Yuva Nidhi’ Scheme Launched For Jobless Youth In Shivamogga, Karnataka
- Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah recently unveiled the fifth and final poll guarantee of the Congress party, named the ‘Yuva Nidhi’ scheme.
- Launched at Freedom Park in Shivamogga, this initiative aims to provide unemployment assistance to graduates and diploma holders who completed their degrees during the academic year 2022-23.
- Under the scheme, the government has committed to providing Rs 3,000 per month to degree holders and Rs 1,500 per month to diploma holders who have been unable to secure employment in the last six months and are not pursuing higher studies.
Ranks & Reports News
16.Hyderabad Ranks 9th Cleanest; Siddipet Tops In South India
- Hyderabad, the capital city of Telangana, achieved a significant milestone by securing the ninth position in cleanliness among cities with a population exceeding one lakh in the Swachh Survekshan Awards 2023.
- Additionally, Siddipet, a city in Telangana, proudly clinched the national award for being the cleanest city in south India within the 50,000-1 lakh population category.
- A remarkable achievement for Greater Hyderabad was the attainment of a five-star rating for sanitation. This marks the first instance of a Telangana city, with a population surpassing one lakh, receiving such a prestigious certification.
- The city also garnered a recertification as a ‘water+’ city, further highlighting its commitment to sustainable water management practices.
17.NICMAR Hyderabad Achieves Platinum Certification under IGBC Green Campus Rating
- The National Institute of Construction Management and Research (NICMAR), located in Hyderabad, has recently been awarded the prestigious Platinum certification by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) under its Green Campus Rating program.
- This accomplishment highlights NICMAR Hyderabad’s commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices in its campus operations and infrastructure.
- NICMAR Hyderabad, situated in the serene locality of Shamirpet, offers a unique blend of cultural heritage and modern educational approaches.
- The institute boasts state-of-the-art infrastructure, including well-equipped classrooms, a richly stocked library, comfortable accommodation facilities, and extensive learning resources.
18.Savita Kanswal Posthumously Honored With Tenzing Norgay Award
- In a heart-touching ceremony, President Draupadi Murmu posthumously conferred the prestigious Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award upon Savita Kanswal.
- Savita Kanswal made history by becoming the first Indian woman mountaineer to conquer both Mount Everest (8848 m) and Mount Makalu (8485 m) within an astonishing span of 16 days. This remarkable feat showcased not only her physical prowess but also her unwavering determination to achieve greatness at the young age of 25.
- The promising journey of Savita took a tragic turn when she met an untimely demise on October 4, 2022. While attempting to climb Draupadi Ka Danda peak as a member of the team sent by the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Savita was struck by an avalanche.
19.Manish Jain’s Appointment as Country Managing Director for Experian India
- Experian, a global leader in information services, has appointed Manish Jain as the Country Managing Director for its operations in India.
- Jain boasts an illustrious career spanning over two and a half decades in the financial services and technology sectors. Before joining Experian, Jain was the Co-Founder and CEO of Excelrate, a strategy execution company focused on banking and financial services industries (BFSI).
- He has over 12 years of leadership experience in the credit bureau industry, where he played a vital role in driving growth and establishing himself as a thought leader. His career also includes key positions in notable companies such as TransUnion, 3i Infotech, Indosoft International, and ACC Limited.
20.IIT Madras to Establish New Campus in Kandy, Sri Lanka
- The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras), a leading engineering institute in India, is set to expand its horizons by establishing a new campus in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
- The proposal for the new campus was announced as part of the Budget 2024 by Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremasinghe, who also serves as the Finance Minister.
- The campus will be situated in Kandy, Sri Lanka, a city known for its rich cultural and historical significance. This initiative aims to provide Sri Lankan students with the opportunity to pursue higher education locally at an affordable price, enhancing the educational landscape in Sri Lanka.
21.Security Agreement Signed Between Ukraine And Britain In Kyiv
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak signed an unprecedented security agreement between their nations in Kyiv.
- The accord, as described by Zelenskiy, holds immense importance for Ukraine’s security and signifies a robust alliance with the United Kingdom.
- The signed security accord is poised to remain in effect until Ukraine becomes a member of NATO, marking a strategic commitment between the two nations. Zelenskiy emphasized the historical significance of the agreement, underlining its potential impact on Ukraine’s defense capabilities.
- President Zelenskiy expressed newfound optimism regarding Ukraine’s prospects of securing financial aid from the United States. His positive outlook, compared to the previous month, indicates growing confidence in international support for Ukraine amidst the ongoing conflict.
22.Tim Southee Achieves Historic Milestone in T20 Internationals
- New Zealand’s veteran pace bowler Tim Southee has created history by becoming the first bowler to take 150 wickets in T20 Internationals.
- In the match held in Auckland on January 12, 2024, Southee’s impressive bowling figures were 4-25. His performance was instrumental in New Zealand’s 46-run win over Pakistan.
- Tim Southee, aged 35, has had a remarkable career in T20 Internationals. He is the most successful bowler in this format with 151 wickets, surpassing other prominent cricketers like Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan (140 wickets) and Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan (130 wickets).
Science & Technology News
23.Mitsubishi Heavy Launches H-IIA Rocket Carrying Japan’s Spy Satellite
- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has achieved a significant milestone in space exploration and national security with the successful launch of an H-IIA rocket carrying Japan’s Information-Gathering Satellite “Optical-8”.
- The launch occurred on January 12, 2024, at 1:44 pm local time from the Tanegashima Space Center. The H-IIA rocket, a flagship launch vehicle of Japan, was used for this mission.
- The payload was the “Optical-8”, an information-gathering (reconnaissance) satellite. This launch was the 48th for the H-IIA rocket since its inception in 2001, further solidifying its reliability with a high success rate.
24.Ganga Sagar Mela 2024: India’s Second Largest Fair
- The Ganga Sagar Mela is held annually in Sagardwip, West Bengal. This magnificent fair has earned the distinction of being the second most popular mela in the country, surpassed only by the revered Kumbh Mela.
- The Ganga Sagar Mela aligns with the celebration of Makar Sankranti, observed on either the 14th or 15th of January each year. This auspicious day adds to the festive atmosphere, amplifying the cultural and religious importance of the gathering.
- Held during the winter season, the Ganga Sagar Mela is a sacred gathering where pilgrims immerse themselves in the holy waters of the Ganga River to cleanse their souls. The Ganga, considered the holiest river in Hindu mythology, culminates its journey in Sagardwip, merging with the Bay of Bengal.
13 JANUARY CURRENT AFFAIRS 2024 | ALL EXAMS IMP. CURRENT AFFAIRS | ASHISH GAUTAM SIR