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Daily Current Affairs 23 December 2023, Important News Headlines (Daily GK Update)

Read the most important current affairs of 23 December 2023. Today Current Affairs covers the headlines on French President to Grace India’s Republic Day, Inaugural Arjan Singh Annual Lecture, SASTRA Ramanujan Awards.

Top 18 Current Affairs and News Headlines of 23 December 2023

National News

1.Central Railways To Add Panic Switches At 117 Stations

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  • Central Railway general manager Ram Karan Yadav has recently announced a significant step towards enhancing passenger safety. In his first news conference after assuming office, Yadav disclosed plans to install panic switches at 117 railway stations under the Central Railway network.
  • The Central Railway has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with RailTel for the implementation of this safety feature. The Central Railway envisions completing the installation of panic switches within a year.
  • The installation of panic switches at railway stations is a proactive measure to ensure the safety and well-being of passengers. These panic switches will serve as a direct communication tool for passengers facing emergencies, allowing them to promptly seek assistance from RPF personnel.

2.French President Emmanuel Macron to Grace India’s Republic Day

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  • President Emmanuel Macron is set to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi. This marks the 6th instance of a French leader gracing this prestigious occasion, highlighting the significance of the bilateral relationship.
  • President Macron follows in the footsteps of his predecessors, with former French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac having been the Chief Guest in 1976 and 1998. Additionally, former Presidents Valery Giscard d’Estaing, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Francois Hollande have all contributed to this tradition in the years 1980, 2008, and 2016, respectively.
  • This year’s Republic Day celebrations hold special significance as India and France commemorate the 25th anniversary of their Strategic Partnership. The enduring collaboration spans across diverse sectors, reflecting the depth and breadth of the diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties between the two nations.

3.Textiles Ministry Unveils ‘Paat-Mitro’ App For Jute Farmers

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  • The Ministry of Textiles, in its continuous efforts to support and empower jute farmers, has introduced the “Paat-Mitromobile application.
  • Developed by The Jute Corporation of India Limited (JCI), this application is a significant step towards providing essential information about Minimum Support Prices (MSP) and agronomy to jute farmers.
  • Apart from MSP and agronomic practices, the application includes information on Jute Gradation Parameters, Farmer-centric schemes like ‘Jute-ICARE,’ weather forecasts, JCI’s Purchase Centres’ locations, and Procurement Policies.
  • Farmers can track the status of payments for the raw jute they sell to JCI under the MSP Operation. Incorporating the latest technology, the application includes a Chatbot to address farmers’ queries and provide real-time assistance.

4.India’s Coking Coal Imports Surge to a 5-Year High; Russia Emerges as Top Three Supplier

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  • India’s coking coal imports have soared to a five-year high, registering 38.14 million tonnes for the April-November period of the current fiscal year. This reflects a marginal year-on-year increase, with nearly 38.12 million tonnes imported during the corresponding period last year.
  • Traditionally, India has imported a substantial amount of coking coal, primarily used in steelmaking, from Russia, alongside Australia as another key supplier. Russia, previously the sixth-largest coal supplier to India, has now ascended to the third spot, surpassing countries like Canada and Mozambique.

International News

5.WHO: Over 1 Million Afghan Kids In Severe Malnutrition Crisis

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  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has sounded the alarm, revealing that over one million children in Afghanistan are currently grappling with severe malnutrition.
  • WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has emphasized the gravity of the situation, asserting that Afghanistan urgently requires $185 million to effectively combat malnutrition.
  • In a statement, he noted that 30 percent of the entire Afghan population is currently facing acute food insecurity. The dire statistics include nearly one million severely malnourished children and 2.3 million children suffering from moderate acute malnutrition.

Defence News

6.IAF & USI Host Inaugural Arjan Singh Annual Lecture

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  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) and the United Services Institution of India (USI) recently collaborated to host the inaugural Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh Annual Lecture at USI, Shankar Vihar.
  • The first Arjan Singh Annual Lecture was delivered by Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria, marked the beginning of an annual tradition that aims to inspire and educate the audience about the dedication, vision, and leadership exemplified by Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh.
  • On August 1, 1964, Arjan Singh assumed the role of Chief of the Air Staff as an Air Marshal, demonstrating his ascent to a key leadership position. His pivotal leadership was instrumental in the Indian Air Force’s victory in the 1965 Indo-Pak War, showcasing his strategic acumen.

Economy News

7.SEBI Proposes Two-Phase Transition to Instant Settlement in Indian Stock Market

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  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is set to revolutionize the Indian stock market with a proposed two-phase implementation of same-day settlement (T+0) and instant settlement.
  • The first phase envisions an optional T+0 settlement cycle for trades until 1:30 pm, with the completion of fund and securities settlement on the same day by 4:30 pm. Initially, this accelerated settlement will be applicable to the top 500 listed companies, introduced in three tranches based on market capitalization.
  • Building on the success of Phase 1, the second phase proposes instant settlement for all trades conducted until 3:30 pm. This immediate trade-by-trade settlement aims to further enhance market efficiency and risk management for clearing corporations.

8.Foreign Exchange Reserves Soar to 20-Month High, Reaching $616 Billion

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  • India’s foreign exchange reserves witnessed a remarkable surge, reaching an impressive $616 billion in the week concluding on December 15. This milestone marked the highest level since March 25, 2022, as per data disclosed by the Reserve Bank of India.
  • During this week, the reserves experienced a notable upswing, recording a substantial increase of $9 billion. This surge stands as the second-highest weekly increment in the current financial year. The primary contributor to this surge was the augmentation of foreign currency assets, witnessing an increase of $8 billion during the week.
  • The Indian rupee appreciated by 0.4% in the preceding week, attributed to the decline in the dollar index following the outcome of the US Federal Reserve meeting.

9.Center Releases Additional ₹72,961 Crore in Tax Devolution to States

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  • Continuing its commitment to empower state governments, the central government has disbursed an additional instalment of Rs 72,961.21 crore as tax devolution to states on December 22, 2023.
  • This comes as a follow-up to a similar transfer earlier in the month on December 11, according to an official statement from the finance ministry.
  • With the recent transfer, the cumulative amount transferred to states in December stands at an impressive Rs 1.46 lakh crore.
  • Uttar Pradesh leads the states in receiving the largest share, accounting for Rs 13,089 crore, followed by Bihar at Rs 7,338 crore. The distribution of funds among states is determined by various factors, including population.

10.Innovative All-in-One Insurance Product, Bima Vistaar, to Debut in Q1 FY25

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  • Bima Vistaar, a groundbreaking all-in-one insurance product encompassing life, health, and property coverage, is poised for launch in the first quarter of the upcoming financial year.
  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) reports that the product design and crucial rollout aspects are nearing completion, with a keen focus on leveraging technology for a seamless launch.
  • Bima Vistaar holds strategic importance as part of the “Insurance Trinity,” a trio featuring Bima Sugam (a digital platform), Bima Vistaar, and Bima Vahak (a women-led field distribution force).
  • Aligned with IRDAI’s vision to achieve universal insurance coverage by 2047, these components aim to address existing gaps in product design, pricing, and distribution.

Important Days News

11.National Farmers Day 2023

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  • National Farmer’s Day 2023, also known as Kisan Diwas, is celebrated on December 23 in India to honor and recognize the invaluable contribution of farmers to the country’s socio-economic fabric.
  • This day marks the birth anniversary of Chaudhary Charan Singh, a former prime minister of India and a dedicated advocate for the welfare of farmers.
  • During his political career, Charan Singh introduced several welfare schemes for farmers. Notably, in 1939, he proposed the Debt Redemption Bill, a crucial step towards liberating farmers from the burden of moneylenders.
  • His advocacy extended to reshaping land reforms in Uttar Pradesh, where he served as the chief minister twice. Charan Singh’s multifaceted efforts included writing extensively on zamindari abolition and land reforms, leaving an indelible mark on India’s agricultural history.

Agreements News

12.Ministry of Rural Development Collaborates with JioMart to Expand Reach of Self-Help Groups’ Products

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  • The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with JioMart, a venture of Reliance Retail.
  • This partnership aims to amplify the reach of products crafted by Self-Help Groups (SHGs) associated with the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), empowering rural artisans.
  • The MoU facilitates the onboarding of SHGs as sellers on the JioMart e-commerce platform. JioMart will assist SHGs in setting up and navigating their accounts on the platform. The partnership also extends opportunities for SHGs to participate in marketing promotions on the JioMart platform.

Awards News

13.SASTRA Ramanujan Awards 2022 and 2023 Announced

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  • In a prestigious ceremony at the SASTRA campus in Kumbakonam, the SASTRA-Ramanujan Awards for 2022 and 2023 were bestowed upon mathematicians Yunqing Tang and Ruixiang Zhang, both affiliated with the University of California in Berkeley.
  • The SASTRA-Ramanujan Awards, with a commendable cash prize of USD 10,000 and a citation, are presented annually on the birthday of the legendary Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan. The awards, instituted by SASTRA in 2005, honor individuals under the age of 32 who have made remarkable contributions to the field of mathematics.

14.UNESCO Awards Spotlight Indian Heritage Conservation Efforts

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  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recognized four Indian projects for their outstanding contributions to cultural heritage conservation in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The resilient urban revitalization project of Rambagh Gate and Ramparts in Amritsar, Punjab, received the highest honor, the “Award of Excellence.” The jury lauded the project for its inclusivity and accessibility, ensuring that the revitalized heritage site benefits the broader community.
  • The Church of Epiphany in Haryana and Bikaner House in Delhi were bestowed with the “Award of Merit” for their exemplary conservation efforts. These projects showcase India’s diverse architectural heritage and dedication to preserving its historical treasures.

15.Bengaluru Airport’s T2 Recognized Among UNESCO’s ‘Most Beautiful Airports’

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  • In a recent announcement from UNESCO’s Prix Versailles 2023, Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) Terminal 2 (T2) has achieved global acclaim, being recognized as one of the ‘world’s most beautiful airports.’
  • The world judges panel, chaired by renowned fashion designer Elie Saab, bestowed this honor, making it the sole Indian airport to receive such esteemed recognition.
  • The airport was honored with the prestigious ‘Special Prize for an Interior‘ in recognition of its outstanding design. This global acknowledgment emphasizes the airport’s commitment to exceptional design and architectural brilliance on an international level.

16.Poet Sukrita Paul Kumar Wins Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize for ‘Salt & Pepper’

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  • The renowned Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize has named poet-critic Sukrita Paul Kumar as its sixth recipient for her book, “Salt & Pepper: Selected Poems”.
  • This prestigious award recognizes outstanding literary work from around the globe, promoting world peace, literature, art, education, and human rights.
  • At the award ceremony, Kumar received a cash prize of USD 5,000, a Tagore statue, and a certificate acknowledging her significant contribution to literature.
  • Founded in 2018 by US-based publisher Peter Bundalo, the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize has established itself as a valuable platform for celebrating literary excellence and championing human rights and world peace. The award’s commitment to both artistic and social impact makes it truly unique and impactful.

Sports News

17.Sakshi Malik Quits After Election Of New Wrestling Federation Chief

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  • Acclaimed Indian wrestler Sakshi Malik, a bronze medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, declared her retirement in protest of the Wrestling Federation of India’s (WFI) recent leadership change.
  • The move follows allegations of sexual abuse against the ousted president, Brij Bhushan Singh, and the controversial election of his close ally, Sanjay Singh. Charges filed in June accused Singh of harassing six athletes, including a minor, during his tenure as WFI chief.
  • Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik made history as the first Indian women wrestler to secure a medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics, breaking barriers and serving as a role model for future generations. In 2013, Sakshi Malik secured a bronze at the Commonwealth Championships, paving the way for her participation in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where she claimed a silver medal in the 58kg category.

Obituaries News

18.Dr. V Mohini Giri: A Champion for Women’s Rights Passes Away at 86

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  • Dr. V Mohini Giri, a well-known advocate for women’s rights, passed away at the age of 86 after a brief illness. She made significant contributions to empowering women and was recognized for her efforts.
  • Dr. Giri served as the Chair of the National Commission for Women (NCW) from 1995 to 1998 and led the Central Social Welfare Board. She was also the head of the Guild of Service, an organization in New Delhi that supports women’s and children’s rights, focusing on education, employment, and financial security.
  • In 1972, Dr. Giri founded the War Widows Association, dedicated to supporting women who lost their spouses in wars. Her commitment to women’s rights earned her the prestigious Padma Bhushan award in 2007.



Check More GK Updates Here

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Who delivered the inaugural Arjan Singh Annual Lecture, marking the start of a tradition to inspire and educate on the vision and leadership of Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh?

Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria.