Table of Contents
Read the most important current affairs of 16 December 2023. Today Current Affairs covers the headlines on Deepest Lab On Earth, High-Speed Flying-Wing UAV, Miss India USA 2023, Vijay Diwas 2023.
Top 18 Current Affairs and News Headlines of 16 December 2023
1.UK Government Considers Social Media Limits For Under-16s
- The UK government, led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, is contemplating additional measures to protect teenagers below the age of 16 from online dangers, despite the recent implementation of the Online Safety Act.
- The Online Safety Act, a landmark legislation mandating social media platforms to shield minors from harmful content or face substantial fines, marked a significant step toward ensuring online safety for children.
- In the coming year, the government plans to initiate a consultation to investigate the risks faced by children using social media. The emphasis, according to official statements, is on empowering parents to navigate their children’s online experiences rather than imposing strict regulations.
2.China Launches Deepest Lab On Earth, More than 2,000m Below Ground
- China has achieved a significant milestone in the field of physics with the operationalization of the world’s deepest and largest underground laboratory. According to a report, the physics laboratory, known as the Deep Underground and Ultra-low Radiation Background Facility for Frontier Physics Experiments (DURF), reaches an impressive depth of 2,400 meters.
- Jointly built by Tsinghua University and Yalong River Hydropower Development Company, Ltd., the facility provides unique testing conditions that are not available to scientists elsewhere. One of the primary objectives of DURF is to contribute significantly to the global search for dark matter—a mysterious form of matter that seems to defy interaction with light or the electromagnetic field.
3.Tamilisai Soundararajan: Telangana To Decentralise Development Into Three Zones
- Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan recently announced the strategic division of Telangana into three zones, positioning Hyderabad as the central hub for this groundbreaking initiative.
- According to Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, the first zone will encompass the city within the Outer Ring Road (ORR), the second will extend from the ORR to the proposed Regional Ring Road (RRR), and the third will cover areas beyond the RRR. This zoning approach aims to distribute development efforts evenly, ensuring comprehensive growth across the entire state.
- As the state capital, Hyderabad plays a pivotal role in the decentralization initiative. Governor Tamilisai stressed its dual significance as an administrative hub and a crucial revenue source. This financial strength is attributed to the Congress-led governments’ meticulous development, transforming Hyderabad into a thriving metropolis.
4.Parliament Greenlights Sammakka Sarakka Central Tribal University in Telangana
- The Indian Parliament has given its nod to the establishment of the Sammakka Sarakka Central Tribal University in Telangana. The approval comes in the form of The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which successfully passed through the Rajya Sabha, having been previously cleared by the Lok Sabha.
- This move signifies a significant stride towards providing quality education in tribal regions and fostering inclusive learning environments. Minister Pradhan emphasized the continuous efforts to enhance higher education in the country, ensuring that students from all backgrounds have access to quality learning opportunities.
5.MoD Seals Rs 5,336.25 Crore Deal With BEL For 10-year Supply Of Electronic Fuzes
- The Ministry of Defence, in a significant development on December 15, 2023, sealed a landmark contract with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Pune. This groundbreaking agreement entails the procurement of Electronic Fuzes for the Indian Army over a 10-year period, amounting to a total cost of Rs 5,336.25 crore.
- This initiative aims to meet the long-term ammunition requirements of the Indian Army while reducing dependence on imports. The overarching goal is to build robust ammunition stocks, promote indigenous manufacturing, acquire critical technologies, and safeguard against supply chain disruptions.
- Electronic Fuzes provide sustained artillery firepower, a critical capability for military operations. The procurement of Electronic Fuzes is a strategic move to enhance the Indian Army’s operational capabilities, particularly in lethal engagements across various terrains, including high-altitude areas along the Northern Borders.
6.India Successfully Flight Tests Indigenous High-Speed Flying-Wing UAV
- The Defence Ministry announced on Friday that the DRDO conducted a successful flight trial of the autonomous flying wing technology demonstrator (an indigenous high-speed flying-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in Karnataka’s Chitradurga.
- With this achievement, India joins an elite club of countries that have mastered the controls for flying wing technology, showcasing a remarkable advancement in the nation’s technological readiness levels.
- The UAV, designed and developed by DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Establishment, marks a significant step leap in India’s aerospace capabilities. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh commended the DRDO, armed forces and the industry for the successful flight trial, emphasizing the strengthening of the armed forces through the indigenous development of critical technologies.
7.Trade Deficit Narrows to Nearly $21 Billion in November
- India’s economic landscape in November 2023 witnessed a decline in merchandise exports by 2.83%, totaling $33.90 billion, compared to $34.89 billion in the corresponding month the previous year.
- This downturn, however, contributed to a positive trend in the trade deficit, which narrowed to $20.58 billion, as revealed by government data released by the Commerce Ministry.
- The overall merchandise trade scenario for April-November 2023 depicted a 6.51% contraction in exports, amounting to $278.80 billion. Imports experienced a 4.33% reduction, standing at $54.48 billion in November 2023. Import figures for the cumulative period of April-November 2023 recorded an 8.67% decrease, reaching $445.15 billion.
8.RBI Fines 5 Co-Operative Banks
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently taken strict action against five cooperative banks, issuing monetary penalties for deficiencies in regulatory compliance. The penalties were imposed under the powers granted to the RBI by certain provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
- These cooperative banks include Indapur Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd, Janakalyan Sahakari Bank Ltd, The Patan Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd, Pune Merchants Co-operative Bank Ltd, and Pune Municipal Corporation Servant’s Co-operative Urban Bank Ltd.
- The RBI clarified that these monetary penalties were imposed solely based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and were not intended to pass judgment on the validity of any transactions or agreements between the banks and their customers.
9.IDFC FIRST Bank, LIC Cards, and Mastercard Introduce Exclusive Co-Branded Credit Card
- In a significant partnership, IDFC FIRST Bank, LIC Cards, and Mastercard have joined forces to unveil an exclusive co-branded credit card tailored to address the ever-evolving financial requirements of the nation. The collaboration aims to cater to the diverse needs of over 27 crore policyholders across India.
- The newly launched credit cards come in two distinct variants – LIC Classic and LIC Select. These variants offer policyholders the opportunity to accumulate reward points with every LIC insurance premium payment, presenting a valuable avenue for savings.
- The co-branded credit card provides a lost card liability cover of up to Rs 50,000, offering enhanced security and peace of mind to users. Cardholders will benefit from a substantial personal accident insurance cover of up to Rs 5 lakh, ensuring financial protection in unforeseen circumstances.
10.Surge in Deposits and Advances for Scheduled Banks to over ₹2-Lakh Cr each in December 1 Fortnight
- Deposits and advances of all scheduled banks witnessed a remarkable surge, each exceeding ₹2-lakh crore in the reporting fortnight concluding on December 1, 2023, as per the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Scheduled Banks’ Statement of Position in India.
- The increase is attributed to buoyant festival demand, particularly in urban areas, driven by strong consumer appliance demand in mid-and premium segments. Around 80% of consumer durable purchases utilized attractive consumer financing schemes with equated monthly installment (EMI) offers. The entry-level segment demand remained relatively subdued.
11.SBI Ventures into Paper Packaging with ₹49.99 Crore Investment in Canpac Trends
- State Bank of India (SBI) has recently made a strategic move into the paper packaging industry by investing ₹49.99 crore in Canpac Trends Private Limited, an Ahmedabad-based company specializing in paper-based packaging solutions.
- In an exchange filing, SBI disclosed the execution of transaction documents to acquire 6.35% (3,70,644 shares) of Canpac Trends at ₹1,349 per share. The total investment amounts to ₹49.99 crore.
- SBI’s investment in Canpac Trends is driven by the objective of capital appreciation, emphasizing the potential growth and profitability of the paper packaging sector. The indicative period for the completion of the acquisition is set at three months from the date of executing the transaction documents.
12.BEL Receives Orders Worth Rs.4878 Crores from Indian Army
- Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a Navratna Defence Public Sector Undertaking, has recently clinched a significant order worth Rs.4,522 crore from the Indian Army
- The project’s inclusion of various electronic and associated industries, especially MSMEs, underscores the collaborative and inclusive approach of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ programme. BEL’s role as a catalyst in this initiative not only strengthens the defense sector but also boosts the indigenous manufacturing ecosystem.
- With the recent orders, BEL has cumulatively received contracts totaling Rs.23,176 crores (excluding taxes) in the current financial year 2023-24. This achievement underscores the company’s robust performance and its pivotal role in bolstering India’s defense capabilities and self-reliant goals.
Important Days News
13.Vijay Diwas 2023
- Vijay Diwas, observed on December 16 every year, stands as a testament to the valor and sacrifice of the Indian armed forces during the 1971 war against Pakistan. This day holds deep historical significance as it marks India’s resounding victory, resulting in the creation of Bangladesh.
- On Vijay Diwas, India remembers the significant moment when General Niazi, along with 93,000 soldiers, surrendered before the Indian Army and the Mukti Bahini of Bangladesh. This surrender is marked as one of the most substantial military surrenders post-World War II, signifying India’s triumph in the face of adversity.
- Vijay Diwas is a day of reflection and tribute, commemorating the sacrifices made by the Indian armed forces. The day holds immense cultural and political significance, emphasizing the strong ties between India and Bangladesh. India pays homage to the bravery and strength displayed by its armed forces during the war.
14.Rijul Maini wins Miss India USA 2023
- The annual Miss India USA 2023 pageant was held in New Jersey. The pageant, now in its 41st year, witnessed contestants from over 25 states participating in three categories: Miss India USA, Mrs India USA, and Miss Teen India USA.
- Rijul Maini, a medical student and aspiring surgeon, clinched the prestigious title of Miss India USA 2023. Hailing from Michigan, Maini aims to serve as a role model for women, embodying intelligence, grace, and ambition.
- Sneha Nambiar from Massachusetts was declared Mrs India USA, showcasing the diversity of talent and accomplishments among married Indian-American women.
- Saloni Rammohan from Pennsylvania emerged victorious as Miss Teen India USA, representing the promising young talents within the Indian-American community.
15.Dr. Srinivas Naik Dharavath Receives Visionary Leader Icon 2023 Award
- Real Vision Homes Pvt Ltd proudly announces the remarkable achievement of its esteemed Chairman, Dr. Srinivas Naik Dharavath, who has been honored with the Visionary Leader Icon Award of the Year 2023 by the Advocates Association For Social Responsibility And Awareness (AASRAA).
- The prestigious award was presented at the 5th National Summit held at the Constitution Club of India in New Delhi. With over two decades of experience in the real estate industry, Dr. Srinivas Naik Dharavath has transformed his passion for marketing into unparalleled success, making homeownership a reality for countless individuals.
- AASRAA is a Non-Governmental Organization founded in 2010 by advocates nationwide. It focuses on consumer welfare through promotional activities, generating awareness, and assisting ignorant, illiterate, and helpless consumers in filing complaints in the appropriate forums to safeguard their rights.
16.India-Korea Electronic Origin Data Exchange System (EODES) Launched for Swift Clearance of Imported Goods
- Mr. Sanjay Kumar Agarwal, Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC), inaugurated the India-Korea Electronic Origin Data Exchange System (EODES) on December 6, 2023, in New Delhi.
- EODES aims to streamline the implementation of the India-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) through the electronic exchange of origin information between the customs administrations of both nations, specifically for goods traded under CEPA.
- The system enables the electronic sharing of data fields in a Certificate of Origin (CoO) by the exporting customs administration with the importing customs immediately upon the issuance of the certificate. This electronic exchange expedites the clearance process for imported goods.
17.BCCI likely to Launch IPL-like T10 League in 2024: Report
- The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is reportedly considering the introduction of a T10 format cricket league, aiming for a launch window between September and October 2024.
- This move aligns with the flourishing popularity and valuation of cricket leagues, particularly the Indian Premier League (IPL), which recently attained a decacorn status with a valuation of approximately $10.7 billion.
- Under the guidance of BCCI Secretary Jay Shah, the blueprint for the proposed T10 league is currently in its early planning stages. Despite being in the preliminary phase, the initiative has garnered positive feedback from stakeholders and potential sponsors. The strategic choice of a T10 format is expected to play a pivotal role in further elevating the sport’s popularity in the country.
Science & Technology News
18.Ola’s Bhavish Aggarwal Unveils ‘Made for India’ Krutrim AI
- Krutrim SI Designs, the new artificial intelligence venture founded by Bhavish Aggrawal, co-founder of Ola, has introduced a family of multilingual AI models specifically tailored to address the distinctive requirements of the Indian ecosystem.
- Krutrim, which means ‘artificial’ in Sanskrit, comes in two sizes. The base model, Krutrim, is trained on an impressive 2 trillion tokens and unique datasets. Its larger counterpart, Krutrim Pro, is set to launch next quarter, boasts advanced problem-solving and task execution capabilities.
- Krutrim is a groundbreaking AI model capable of understanding and generating content in 22 Indian languages. The model’s training data includes over two trillion tokens for Indian languages, making it stand out in terms of its extensive linguistic understanding.
16 December 2023 CURRENT AFFAIRS | ALL EXAMS IMP. CURRENT AFFAIRS | ASHISH GAUTAM SIR