Table of Contents
Read the most important current affairs of 18 January 2024. Today Current Affairs covers the headlines on Disease X, ‘Khadi Sanatan Vastra’, Mahtari Vandana Yojana 2024, Bullet Train Electrification Project.
Top 22 Current Affairs and News Headlines of 18 January 2024
1.PM Modi Unveils Ram Mandir Stamps: A Historic Moment in Indian Culture
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently launched a series of commemorative postage stamps dedicated to Ayodhya’s Ram Temple, marking a significant cultural event in India.
- The collection comprises six distinct stamps, each featuring key figures and symbols associated with Lord Ram’s narrative, including the Ram Temple, Lord Ganesh, Lord Hanuman, Jatayu, Kevatraj, and Ma Shabri.
- The designs incorporate essential elements related to Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir, showcasing the temple, the revered Choupai ‘Mangal Bhavan Amangal Hari,’ the sun, the Saryu River, and the sculptures in and around the temple. Each stamp is adorned with gold leaf detailing for the sun rays and the Choupai, adding a majestic touch.
2.NHAI’s ‘One Vehicle, One FASTag’ Initiative To Streamline Toll Collection
- The National Highways Authority of India has introduced the ‘One Vehicle, One FASTag’ initiative, to curb the prevalent practice of using a single FASTag for multiple vehicles or linking multiple FASTags to a specific vehicle.
- This initiative seeks to promote a one-to-one correspondence between vehicles and FASTags, ensuring transparency and accountability in toll collection.
- NHAI is actively promoting the completion of the ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) process for the latest FASTag. FASTags with valid balances but incomplete KYC details will face deactivation or blacklisting by banks after January 31, 2024.
3.Ayodhya’s Lata Mangeshkar Chowk Illuminates Ahead of Ram Temple Inauguration
- The city of Ayodhya is witnessing a significant transformation with the upcoming inauguration of the Ram temple. A key highlight in this transformation is the Lata Mangeshkar Chowk, which has recently been illuminated, drawing attention both nationally and internationally.
- The Chowk, named after the legendary Indian playback singer Lata Mangeshkar, has become a popular selfie hotspot for locals and tourists alike.
- This bronze sculpture, weighing 14 tonnes and made by renowned sculptor Ram Sutar, stands as a symbol of Lata Mangeshkar’s musical legacy.
4.Union Minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia Inaugurates Asia’s Largest Aviation Expo Wings India 2024
- Union Minister for Civil Aviation Shri Jyotiraditya M Scindia inaugurated Wings India 2024, Asia’s largest aviation expo, at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad.
- The theme of Wings India 2024 is “Connecting India to the World in Amrit Kaal: Setting the Stage for India Civil Aviation @2047”.
- The aim is to support a USD 20 trillion economy by 2047 with a robust aviation system. The expo served as a platform for industry leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders to exchange ideas and forge partnerships.
5.Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Inaugurates Puri Jagannath Temple’s Heritage Corridor
- The SMPP (Shree Mandir Parikrama Prakalpa) introduces a 75-meter-wide space around the temple, referred to as the heritage corridor.
- This expansive area has been meticulously divided into nine distinct zones, each serving a specific purpose aimed at enhancing the overall experience for visitors and preserving the cultural heritage surrounding the Shree Jagannath Temple.
- The first zone comprises a 7-meter green buffer adjacent to the Meghanada Pacheri, the temple’s boundary. This zone acts as a protective barrier, preserving the sanctity of the temple premises.
6.DLabs at ISB launches `Build for Billions’ jointly with RBI Innovation Hub, UBI
- DLabs at the Indian School of Business (ISB) has announced the initiation of ‘Build for Billions’, a startup accelerator program centered around financial inclusion for the informal economy.
- This innovative program has been launched in partnership with the Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH) and Union Bank of India.
- The primary theme of ‘Build for Billions’ is to foster financial inclusion within the informal economy. It aims to address livelihood issues for gig workers, migrant workers, domestic workers, street vendors, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and construction laborers who represent the informal economy.
7.EPFO Removes Aadhaar as Valid Date of Birth Proof
- The Employees’ Provident Fund Organization has recently issued a circular stating the removal of Aadhaar from the list of acceptable documents for proof of date of birth (DoB) for correction and updation purposes.
- This decision, effective from January 16, 2024, follows a directive from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and aligns with the Aadhaar Act, 2016, which does not recognize Aadhaar as proof of date of birth.
- The UIDAI emphasizes that Aadhaar is primarily an identity verification tool and not a proof of birth. This is supported by a memorandum from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and a judgment by the Bombay High Court.
8.KVIC launches ‘Khadi Sanatan Vastra’ from its flagship store in CP, New Delhi
- The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has recently unveiled a new clothing range called ‘Sanatan Khadi Vastra’ at its flagship store in Connaught Place, New Delhi.
- This launch aligns with the broader vision of promoting Khadi as a symbol of national pride and sustainable fashion.
- The design for the ‘Sanatan Vastra’ was prepared at the Khadi Center of Excellence (COEK) located at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT).
- The manufacturing of Khadi does not involve any mechanical or chemical processes, making Sanatan textiles unique as they are prepared as per traditional Indian methods.
9.Foxconn and HCL Group Forge Partnership for Chip Packaging Unit in India
- Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn, a long-time Apple Inc. partner, is diversifying from China and joining forces with HCL Group to establish a chip packaging and testing facility in India.
- Foxconn’s subsidiary, Foxconn Hon Hai Technology India Mega Development, will invest $37.2 million for a 40% stake, with the remaining held by HCL.
- The collaboration aims to set up an outsourced semiconductor assembly and testing (OSAT) facility in India. OSAT facilities do not engage in chip fabrication but provide third-party chip packaging and testing services.
10.L&T Secures ‘Mega Order’ for Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train Electrification Project
- L&T Construction’s railways strategic business group has clinched a significant contract valued between ₹10,000 to ₹15,000 crore for a pivotal segment of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project.
- The ‘mega’ order, received from a Japanese agency overseeing the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Project (MAHSR), entails the construction of 508 route km of high-speed electrification works.
- L&T will undertake the design, supply, manufacturing, construction, testing, and commissioning of a 2×25 kV power supply electrification system. This includes high-speed overhead equipment, traction substations, and MV/LV power distribution equipment works.
11.TCS ranked second most valuable IT brand in global list
- Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has achieved a significant milestone by being rated the second most valuable IT services brand in the world, according to the 2024 Global 500 IT Services Ranking by Brand Finance.
- This achievement underscores TCS’s commitment to innovation, sustainability, and global expansion, positioning it as a leader in the technology industry.
- TCS’s brand value saw an impressive surge to $19.2 billion in 2024, up from $17.2 billion in 2023. This 11.5% year-over-year growth is the highest absolute value growth among the top 25 leading IT firms globally.
12.PM Unveils Rs. 4,000 Crore Projects In Kochi, Kerala
- Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated three pivotal infrastructure projects in Kochi, Kerala, signaling a significant stride towards transforming India’s ports, shipping, and waterways sector.
- These projects, collectively worth over Rs 4,000 crore, align with the Prime Minister’s vision to enhance the nation’s maritime capabilities and foster self-sufficiency.
- The inauguration included the unveiling of the New Dry Dock (NDD) at Cochin Shipyard Limited, a national pride and an engineering marvel. With a length of 310 meters and built at an investment of ₹1799 crores, the NDD is set to accommodate large vessels, including aircraft carriers and other significant ships.
13.Chhattisgarh Launches Mahtari Vandana Yojana 2024
- The state of Chhattisgarh, inspired by the successful implementation of the ‘Aarthik Sarkari Ladli Bahna Yojana‘ organized by Madhya Pradesh govt, has recently launched a new scheme known as Mahtari Vandana Yojana 2024.
- Under this initiative, the government aims to provide economic assistance of one thousand rupees to women every month, amounting to a total annual financial aid of 12,000 rupees.
- The scheme not only aims to provide financial assistance to women but also emphasizes fostering self-reliance and skill development through the utilization of these funds. Women can manage their expenses and even initiate small-scale enterprises with the help of this financial aid.
14.REC Limited Wins ICAI Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting FY 2022-23
- REC Limited, a prominent Maharatna Public Sector Unit and a leading Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) has been honored with the prestigious ‘Plaque’ at the ICAI Awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting.
- REC Ltd under the Ministry of Power has been recognised in the ‘Financial Services Sector (Other than Banking and Insurance)’ category for the financial year 2022-23.
- The ICAI Awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting, organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India’s Research Committee since 1958, aim to recognize and promote excellence in the preparation and presentation of financial and non-financial information in annual reports across diverse sectors.
15.Rohit Sharma tops list of batters with most hundreds in T20
- Indian cricket team captain Rohit Sharma has created history by becoming the first batsman to score five centuries in T20 Internationals (T20Is). This milestone was achieved during the third T20I match against Afghanistan in Bengaluru on January 17, 2024.
- Rohit Sharma scored an unbeaten 121 runs off 69 balls, which included 11 fours and eight sixes, showcasing his exceptional batting skills.
- The partnership between Rohit and Rinku Singh was crucial, amounting to 190 runs for the fifth wicket, setting a record for the highest T20I partnership for India.
16.Asian Shooting Championship 2024, Jakarta: Yogesh Bags Dual Gold, Lakshay Takes Bronze
- In the Asia Olympic Qualifiers, Yogesh Singh not only secured the individual gold medal in the men’s 25m centre fire pistol competition but also led the Indian trio to clinch the team gold.
- Yogesh Singh showcased exceptional marksmanship in the men’s 25m centre fire pistol competition, claiming the individual gold medal with a score of 573.
- In the shotgun qualifiers held in Kuwait City, Lakshay demonstrated his prowess by securing the bronze medal. He shot a commendable 33 in the six-man final, finishing fourth in the qualification round with a score of 119.
17.Sue Redfern: ICC’s First Female Neutral Umpire In Bilateral Series
- In a groundbreaking development for women’s cricket, Sue Redfern from England is set to become the first ICC-appointed female neutral umpire to officiate in a bilateral series.
- Redfern’s appointment is a result of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) decision to have one neutral umpire for all ICC Women’s Championship series and T20I matches associated with them.
- This move is aimed at ensuring a degree of neutrality in match officiating while also contributing to the long-term development of female umpires in the sport. Seven female neutral umpires, including Sue Redfern, will officiate across ICC Women’s Championship series.
Science & Technology News
18.ISRO Unveils Advanced Distress Alert Transmitter For Fishermen
- Indian Space Research Organisation’s development, the second-generation ‘Distress Alert Transmitter’ (DAT-SG), is a remarkable advancement in satellite communication and navigation capabilities.
- Operational since 2010, the DAT-SG has become a crucial tool for fishermen at sea, allowing them to send emergency messages and receive real-time acknowledgments.
- The DAT-SG incorporates advanced satellite communication and navigation features, leveraging the latest technological developments.
- Through a communication satellite, fishermen can send distress signals from their boats, initiating a real-time connection with a central control station – the Indian Mission Control Centre (INMCC). This upgraded version of DAT ensures a more robust and efficient communication process.
19.Disease X: Unveiling the Unknown Health Threat at WEF 2024
- The World Economic Forum (WEF) 2024 kicked off on January 15 in Davos, Switzerland, where global leaders are slated to address a peculiar concern known as Disease X.
- This enigmatic term refers to an illness triggered by an unidentified yet potent microbial threat. A panel of the World Health Organization (WHO) is set to collaborate with other health officials to deliberate on this mysterious health menace.
- Disease X, designated by the WHO in 2017, holds a place alongside pathogens like Ebola and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) as a top priority for research. Essentially, it represents an illness arising from an unknown but serious microbial threat, with COVID-19 serving as a tangible example.
20.IIT Madras and Altair Collaborate to Launch eMobility Simulation Lab
- Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) has joined forces with Altair, a global technology leader specializing in simulation, high-performance computing (HPC), and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
- Together, they are set to inaugurate the cutting-edge eMobility Simulation Lab within the Department of Engineering Design at IIT Madras. The eMobility Simulation Lab is poised to become a hub for advanced research and training in the field.
- Thanks to Altair’s generous financial backing, the lab will be equipped with state-of-the-art products and tools, featuring Altair’s modeling and simulation technologies.
- These tools will play a pivotal role in supporting academic endeavors across various eMobility domains, including Batteries, Charging, Power Electronics, Motors and Controllers, and Vehicle Engineering.
21.China’s Betavolt Unveils Groundbreaking Nuclear Battery: 50 Years of Maintenance-Free Power Generation
- China’s Betavolt, a cutting-edge startup, has introduced a groundbreaking nuclear battery that claims to provide uninterrupted electricity for 50 years without the need for charging or maintenance.
- The battery, measuring 15 x 15 x 5 millimeters, presently produces 100 microwatts of power at 3 volts, with plans to achieve 1 watt output by 2025.
- The battery integrates 63 isotopes into a coin-sized module, showcasing unprecedented technological advancement. Operating on the decay of isotopes, the battery efficiently transforms the generated energy into electrical power.
22.India records its first-ever confirmed sighting of a rare Tibetan Brown Bear
- In a remarkable development for India’s wildlife conservation, the first-ever confirmed sighting of the rare Tibetan Brown Bear (scientific name: Ursus arctos pruinosus) was recorded in the high altitudes of North Sikkim.
- This discovery, made by the joint efforts of the Sikkim Forest Department and WWF-India, marks a significant addition to the country’s mammal diversity and highlights the ecological richness of the region.
- The Tibetan Brown Bear, also known as the Tibetan Blue Bear, is an omnivore with a diet generally consisting of marmots and alpine vegetation. It is distinct from the more commonly found Himalayan Black Bear in terms of appearance, habitat, and behavior.
18 JANUARY CURRENT AFFAIRS 2024 | ALL EXAMS IMP. CURRENT AFFAIRS | ASHISH GAUTAM SIR