Table of Contents
Read the most important current affairs of 19 January 2024. Today Current Affairs covers the headlines on India’s New Classical Language, ‘Money2India (Canada)’ Mobile Banking App, Kokborok Day 2024.
Top 26 Current Affairs and News Headlines of 19 January 2024
1.New Guidelines for Coaching Centres in India: Balancing Education and Welfare
- The Ministry of Education in India has announced new guidelines for coaching centres. These guidelines provide a legal structure for the operation of coaching centres. They define the minimum standards for the functioning of these centres.
- Only those with a minimum qualification of graduation are eligible to teach. Coaching centres are prohibited from making false claims about ranks or marks to entice students. Students below 16 years old cannot be enrolled, and admission is allowed only for post-secondary school examinations.
- These guidelines come in response to growing concerns about student welfare, unregulated growth of private coaching, and rising cases of student suicides and other incidents linked to coaching centres.
2.Union Minister Launches Project for Artificial Reefs in Vizhinjam to Boost Fish Population
- In a significant move to boost fish production and promote sustainable fishing, Union Fisheries Minister Parshottam Rupala inaugurated an artificial reef project in Vizhinjam, Kerala.
- This initiative aims to double the income of fishermen by enhancing fish stocks and contributing to the economic well-being of the local fishing community. The project is designed to boost fishery resources in the region, thus improving the livelihood of traditional fishermen.
- The Kerala State Coastal Development Corporation, with technical assistance from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), is overseeing the project.The project will deploy 6,300 artificial reef units across 42 fishing villages from Pozhiyoor to Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram district.
3.MeitY Secretary Launches India’s First Graphene Centre and IoT CoE in Kerala
- In a significant development, MeitY Secretary S Krishnan inaugurated the India Innovation Centre for Graphene (IICG) and a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Intelligent Internet of Things (IIoT) Sensors in Kerala.
- The Digital University Kerala (DUK) (formerly IIITMK) and CMET, Thrissur, play crucial roles as technical partners in establishing these pioneering centers.
- The CoE in IIoT Sensors, situated at Makers Village Kochi, is a distinctive facility created by the collaborative efforts of MeitY, Government of India, and Government of Kerala.
- The primary objective is to boost the development of sensors within the domain of Intelligent IoT systems, encompassing a wide array of applications across networks, devices, and sensor systems.
4.Farsi as India’s New Classical Language
- In a noteworthy development aimed at strengthening cultural ties, the Government of India, under the New Education Policy, has decided to include Farsi (Persian) as one of the nine classical languages of India.
- This announcement was made by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during a two-day visit to Iran, highlighting the cultural, literary, and linguistic connections between Iran and India.
- Farsi, also known as Persian, is an Indo-Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian languages.
- It has a rich historical and cultural significance, not only in Iran but also in the broader Persian-speaking world. The language is known for its extensive literary heritage, with poets like Rumi and Hafez making significant contributions to Persian literature.
5.China’s Population Challenge: Measures to Counter Declining Birth Rates
- China faces a demographic crisis as its population dropped for the second year in a row in 2023. This decline is attributed to a falling birth rate and an increase in deaths, especially after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.
- China’s total population stood at 1.4 billion, with the country falling behind India as the world’s most populous nation. Deaths rose by 690,000 to 11.1 million, more than double the previous year’s increase, partly due to COVID-19 outbreaks
- The number of births fell for the seventh consecutive year, with only about 9 million babies born in 2023, half the total in 2016. High childcare and education costs, uncertainty in the job market, and gender discrimination are some factors discouraging couples from having more children.
6.The Houthis’ Escalation in the Red Sea: Causes and Consequences
- Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have intensified their attacks on ships in the Red Sea, citing revenge against Israel for its actions in Gaza.
- This has prompted the US and UK to launch strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen, leading to concerns about a broader regional conflict.
- The war has resulted in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, with millions in need of aid, widespread displacement, and significant casualties. A 2022 ceasefire lapsed after six months, and efforts to bring a permanent end to the conflict have proven challenging.
7.Japan’s Lunar Ambition: Smart Lander Mission Set for Success on January 20
- Japan is poised to join an exclusive group of nations that have successfully landed on the Moon. The Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), is scheduled to touch the lunar surface on January 20, 2024.
- This mission marks a significant milestone in Japan’s space exploration endeavours and offers a unique opportunity to advance lunar science. Launched on September 6, 2023, aboard a H-IIA rocket, SLIM represents a significant leap in lunar exploration technology.
- The mission aims to demonstrate highly accurate landings, a capability that will enhance the science value of future lunar missions. The lander’s target is the rim of Shioli crater, where it aims to land within 100 meters of its target point, a level of precision unprecedented in lunar exploration.
8.Moh-Juj Fights: A Cultural Resurgence in Assam
- After a hiatus of nine years, Moh-Juj, the traditional buffalo fights, have made a comeback in Assam. This revival, held during the Magh Bihu festival in mid-January 2024, marks a significant cultural reclamation in Assam.
- The tradition of Moh-Juj was suspended in 2015 following the Supreme Court’s ban on similar events like Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu. The ban was primarily due to concerns regarding animal cruelty.
- However, recognizing the cultural significance of Moh-Juj, the Assam government, after deliberations and the issuance of detailed SOPs, decided to permit these events again.
- Moh-Juj symbolizes strength and valor in Assamese culture. The revival of Moh-Juj is seen as a reclamation of Assam’s rich cultural traditions that have been passed down through generations.
9.Mamata Banerjee Opens 47th Kolkata Book Fair, Featuring the UK As The Theme Country
- Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the 47th International Kolkata Book Fair on January 18, amidst a drizzle that posed challenges for last-minute preparations for several stall owners.
- The United Kingdom (UK) holds the spotlight as the theme country for this year’s book fair, which is scheduled to continue till January 31.
- The Kolkata Literature Festival is set to enrich the fair with discussions, readings, and interactions with prominent literary figures. The festival adds a dynamic layer to the overall cultural experience, providing attendees with opportunities to engage with thought-provoking discussions.
10.Unveiling Arunachal Pradesh’s Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival and the Nyishi Tribe
- Arunachal Pradesh, nestled in the northeastern part of India, boasts a vibrant cultural mosaic and unparalleled biodiversity. The Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival (PPHF) serves as a testament to this diversity, bringing together communities, traditions, and conservation efforts.
- The PPHF, inaugurated in 2015, holds a unique purpose: recognizing the Nyishi tribe’s crucial role in hornbill conservation within the Pakke Tiger Reserve.
- Beyond cultural festivities, the festival aims to establish alternative income sources, steering away from harmful practices like hunting and logging. It serves as a platform for creating national awareness about the natural wonders of the Pakke Tiger Reserve and its surroundings.
11.Tallest Ambedkar Statue To Be Unveiled Today In Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh
- The Andhra Pradesh government is set to unveil the world’s tallest statue of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the esteemed architect of the Indian Constitution, in a grand ceremony today in Vijayawada.
- The colossal structure, named the ‘Statue of Social Justice,’ stands at an impressive height of 206 feet, making it one of the top 50 tallest statues globally, with Sardar Vallabhai Patel’s ‘Statue of Unity’ claiming the top spot.
- The ‘Statue of Social Justice’ stands tall at 125 feet, mounted on an 81-feet pedestal, making it the tallest statue of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in the world. The sheer magnitude of the structure is a visual representation of the profound impact of Dr. Ambedkar’s ideals on justice and equality.
12.HDFC Bank Aims for Singapore Expansion with Banking License Application
- In a strategic move, HDFC Bank Ltd, India’s largest private sector lender, is actively pursuing its first branch in Singapore. Following its significant merger with Housing Development Finance Corp. last year, HDFC Bank is looking to expand its global footprint.
- With Singapore hosting a substantial Indian diaspora of nearly 650,000 non-residents and persons of Indian origin, HDFC Bank sees an opportunity to cater to this market. The bank is strategically positioning itself to offer a range of financial products and services tailored to the needs of the Indian community in Singapore.
13.ICICI Bank Canada Launches ‘Money2India (Canada)’ Mobile Banking App
- ICICI Bank Canada, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ICICI Bank Limited, has introduced its latest mobile banking app, ‘Money2India (Canada),’ providing Canadian customers with a seamless platform for 24/7 fund transfers to any Indian bank without the necessity of opening an account with ICICI Bank Canada.
- The app offers a user-friendly interface for customers across Canadian banks, enabling instant and round-the-clock money transfers to any bank in India. Users can send amounts of up to CAD 30,000 in a single transaction, enhancing flexibility and catering to various transaction needs.
- The innovation streamlines cross-border transactions, offering convenience without the need for account opening, specifically with ICICI Bank Canada. Customers of any bank in Canada can utilize the app, using their Visa or Mastercard debit cards for instant money transfers to India.
14.Indian Army, MeitY Collaborate For Enhanced Defense Technology
- The Indian Army, in a groundbreaking collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), is spearheading the development of cutting-edge military-grade software.
- This partnership aims to harness the power of technology for bolstering national defense capabilities, focusing on areas such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, digital infrastructure, and healthcare.
- The collaborative efforts between the Indian Army and MeitY are manifesting in the creation of AI-powered decision-making tools and predictive analytics.
- Operational software, designed for interpreting the Enemy’s Electronic Order of Battle (ORBAT) and recognizing patterns, is already in use. This facilitates rapid analysis and enhances the efficiency of strategic decision-making on the battlefield.
15.Apple Surpasses Samsung as Top Smartphone Maker for the First Time Since 2010
- In a significant industry shift, Apple Inc.’s iPhone has outpaced Samsung Electronics Co. devices, securing the title of the best-selling smartphone series in 2023. This marks the first time since 2010 that Samsung has conceded the top spot in the smartphone market.
- According to research firm IDC, the iPhone claimed a substantial 20% share of the global market, with nearly 235 million shipments in the previous year.Samsung, facing a double-digit slump in shipments to 226.6 million, secured the second position, surpassing Chinese competitors like Xiaomi Corp.
16.Adani Group Announces Rs 50,000 Crore Investment for 1 GW Data Centre in Maharashtra
- In a major development at the World Economic Forum 2024, the Adani Group unveiled plans to invest Rs 50,000 crore over the next decade in establishing a 1 GW hyperscale data centre in Maharashtra.
- The 1 GW data centre, strategically located in key areas such as Mumbai or Navi Mumbai and Pune, will be powered entirely by renewable energy.
- This initiative not only boosts green energy infrastructure in Maharashtra but also aligns with broader sustainability goals. The project is expected to generate direct and indirect employment for approximately 20,000 individuals, contributing significantly to the economic landscape of the state.
Important Days News
17.Kokborok Day 2024
- Kokborok Day, observed annually on January 19th, is a significant cultural event in Tripura, India. The 2024 celebration marks the 46th anniversary of Kokborok’s recognition as an official language of the state alongside Bengali and English.
- Kokborok, also known as Tripuri or Tiprakoka, is the native language of the Tripuri community in Tripura and neighbouring regions. It belongs to the Sino-Tibetan language family, closely related to the Bodo, Dimasa, and Kachari languages spoken in Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Meghalaya.
- On January 19, 1979, Kokborok was officially recognized as a state language, ending the sole official status of Bengali in Tripura. This recognition is commemorated as Kokborok Day. Kokborok Day underscores the importance of preserving and promoting the Tripuri language and culture.
18.Assam Govt Unveils Mukhyamantri Mahila Udyamita Abhiyan
- The Assam government recently launched a financial assistance scheme, the Mukhyamantri Mahila Udyamita Abhiyaan (MMUA), with the aim of empowering rural women entrepreneurs.
- The MMUA scheme is designed to promote the development of rural women who are part of self-help groups. It aims to transform them into “Rural Micro Entrepreneurs” with an annual income target of ₹1 lakh per member.
- To qualify for the grant, women from the general and other backward caste (OBC) categories must have no more than three children.
- However, specific exemptions are made for women from the Moran, Muttock, and tea-tribe communities, who can apply with four or fewer children. For women belonging to Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Scheduled Caste (SC) categories, the eligibility criteria dictate that they should have no more than four children.
19.E-SAKSHI App Under MPLADS: Revolutionizing Constituency Development
- The launch of the e-SAKSHI mobile application marks a significant advancement in the administration of the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) in India.
- This digital initiative, spearheaded by the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), aims to transform the way MPs engage in and manage development projects within their constituencies.
- MPLADS, established in 1993, is a central sector scheme fully funded by the Government of India. It allows MPs to recommend developmental projects with an emphasis on durable community assets, based on locally felt needs.
- Each MP is allocated Rs. 5 crores annually for these projects, which may include building infrastructure like toilets and bridges and providing essential services like drinking water and electricity. Before e-SAKSHI, the process was predominantly paper-based, leading to various administrative challenges.
20.Google Pay Partners With NPCI To Extend UPI Payments Globally
- In a significant move towards fostering international digital transactions, Google India Digital Services and NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL) have joined hands to propel UPI payments beyond the borders of India.
- The recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two entities is poised to revolutionize the way Indian travellers engage in financial transactions abroad.
- The primary objective of the MoU is to enhance the usage of UPI payments for Indian travellers outside their homeland. With this collaboration, Google Pay (GPay) becomes the conduit, enabling seamless and convenient transactions for Indian globetrotters. This marks a departure from the traditional reliance on cash or international payment gateways.
21.Senior IPS officer Daljit Singh Chaudhary appointed Director General of Sashastra Seema Bal
- Senior IPS officer Daljit Singh Chaudhary has been appointed as the Director General of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). Daljit Singh Chaudhary, an officer of the Indian Police Service (IPS), has had a distinguished career with various critical responsibilities in the past.
- His experience and skills are deemed crucial for the role of Director General of SSB, where he will be leading the force in maintaining the security and integrity of India’s borders.
- Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) is one of the five Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Established in 1963, the SSB was originally set up to counter the activities of Chinese troops along the Indo-Nepal border following the Sino-Indian War.
22.RuPay Prime Volleyball League Season 3: Hrithik Roshan Onboards as Brand Ambassador
- The RuPay Prime Volleyball League (PVL) has taken a significant stride in its marketing and promotion efforts by appointing the acclaimed Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan as the brand ambassador for its third season.
- Hrithik Roshan, renowned for his commitment to fitness and athleticism, has been chosen to represent the RuPay Prime Volleyball League in its upcoming season.
- The RuPay Prime Volleyball League Season 3 is scheduled to commence on February 15, 2024, and will be telecast live on Sony Sports Network.
- The league, co-owned and marketed by Baseline Ventures, features nine franchises: Hyderabad Black Hawks, Ahmedabad Defenders, Kolkata Thunderbolts, Calicut Heroes, Kochi Blue Spikers, Chennai Blitz, Bengaluru Torpedoes, Mumbai Meteors, and the new addition, Delhi Toofans.
23.Assam Govt To Honor Ex-CJI Ranjan Gogoi With ‘Assam Baibhav’ Award
- Former Chief Justice of India and current Rajya Sabha MP, Ranjan Gogoi, is set to be honored with the prestigious ‘Assam Baibhav’ award, the highest civilian award in Assam. The award ceremony is scheduled to take place on February 10.
- This marks the third year of the Assam Baibhav awards, with the inaugural award presented to business magnate Ratan Tata in the first year, followed by journalist Tapan Saikia in the second year. The decision to confer this year’s award upon Ranjan Gogoi reflects the state government’s acknowledgment of his exceptional service and achievements.
- The recepients of the awards are:
24.Gianni Infantino Honored With Sports Personality Award In Dubai
- In a glittering ceremony at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Awards, FIFA President Gianni Infantino was bestowed with the prestigious International Sports Personality of the Year award.
- Established in 2009, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Awards have evolved over the past decade. Initially focused on domestic achievements, the awards opened up to international recipients in 2012.
- Today, the International Sports Personality of the Year stands as the pinnacle of recognition for global figures who contribute significantly to the development and fairness of sports.
25.Carlos Sainz’s Historic Victory in Dakar Rally 2024
- Carlos Sainz, at the age of 61, has made history by winning the Dakar Rally for the fourth time. His latest victory in the 2024 rally marks him as the oldest winner of this gruelling race.
- Sainz, also known as ‘El Matador’, is renowned for his extraordinary skills and endurance in one of the most challenging motorsport events in the world.
- Sainz’s Dakar journey is marked by diversity and adaptability, having won the rally with four different manufacturers: Volkswagen (2010), Peugeot (2018), Mini (2020), and now Audi (2024). His experience and skill have proven invaluable in navigating the varied and challenging terrains of the Dakar Rally.
26.World’s Largest Lamp to Shine on Ram Temple Opening
- In a remarkable display, the world’s largest lamp, standing at an impressive 300 feet, will illuminate the city of Ayodhya at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, adding a dazzling touch to the festivities.
- Jagadguru Paramhans Acharya, a key figure in the preparations, emphasized the profound symbolism behind the lighting of this colossal lamp.
- Comprising 1.25 quintals of cotton and 21,000 litres of oil, the lamp holds significance beyond its sheer size. The materials used, including soil and water from different regions across the country, as well as cow’s ghee, create a unique blend representing unity and sacredness.
19 JANUARY CURRENT AFFAIRS 2024 | ALL EXAMS IMP. CURRENT AFFAIRS | ASHISH GAUTAM SIR