Table of Contents
Read the most important current affairs of 26 December 2023. Today Current Affairs covers the headlines on Three Criminal Code Bills, SAANS Campaign 2023-24, National Consumer Rights Day 2023.
Top 24 Current Affairs and News Headlines of 26 December 2023
1.President Draupadi Murmu Gives Assent to Three Criminal Code Bills
- On December 25, President Draupadi Murmu granted her assent to three groundbreaking criminal code bills, marking a significant shift in India’s legal landscape.
- These bills, namely the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and the Bharatiya Sakshya Act, received parliamentary approval and are poised to replace the age-old Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Indian Evidence Act of 1872.
- The trio of bills aims to redefine various offenses and their corresponding punishments. Notably, the legislation provides a clear definition of terrorism and introduces a novel section titled “Offences Against the State.” Strikingly, it abolishes sedition as a crime, replacing it with a more contemporary framework.
2.PM Celebrates 1 Crore Ayushman Cards In Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his delight as the issuance of one crore Ayushman cards marked a significant achievement during the ongoing Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra (VBSY) across the country.
- Under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (#PMJAY), these cards offer free treatment of up to Rs 5 lakh per annum per family at empanelled hospitals nationwide.
- Health and Family Welfare Minister Mansukh Mandaviya disclosed that India has achieved a commendable landmark, with 1,02,23,619 Ayushman cards created during the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra. This achievement not only signifies the strength of the country’s health infrastructure but also propels healthcare excellence in India.
3.Angola Announces Departure from OPEC
- Angola, a significant oil-producing nation, has declared its decision to exit the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) with effect from January 1, 2024.
- This move follows the footsteps of Ecuador in 2020 and Qatar in 2019, reflecting a trend of nations with relatively small oil output distancing themselves from the influential oil-exporting organization.
- Angola became a member of OPEC in 2007, contributing approximately 1.1 million barrels per day to the global oil market. Since its entry into OPEC, Angola actively participated in the organization’s efforts to manage the oil market, collaborating with other member nations and non-members within the OPEC+ group
4.India to acquire five lithium blocks in Argentina
- In a significant development, India is poised to secure exploration and development rights for five lithium blocks in Argentina, marking its second international foray into critical minerals after a partnership with Australia in 2022.
- The Indian government plans to invest around Rs 200 crore over the next five years for exploration, signaling a strategic commitment to securing a domestic supply of critical minerals. The proposal is awaiting approval from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
- Argentina, holding 21% of the world’s lithium reserves concentrated in the Lithium Triangle, is a key partner for India. The salt-lake lithium extraction method employed in Argentina proves economically favorable, contributing significantly to production.
5.UP to Build India’s First AI City in Lucknow
- In a groundbreaking move, Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state, is set to establish the country’s first AI city in Lucknow.
- This initiative aims to create a thriving hub for artificial intelligence, integrating cutting-edge technology, research centers, and educational institutions to foster innovation and nurture the workforce of the future.
- According to a report by Grand View Research, the global AI market size reached $137 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 37.3% from 2023 to 2030. Uttar Pradesh’s move to build an AI city aligns with the escalating global significance of artificial intelligence.
6.Manipur Initiates SAANS Campaign 2023-24 For Pneumonia Prevention
- In a significant move aimed at addressing childhood pneumonia, Dr. Sapam Ranjan Singh, the State Health and Family Welfare Minister of Manipur, recently inaugurated the SAANS Campaign 2023-24 in Imphal.
- SAANS, which stands for Social Awareness and Action to Neutralize Pneumonia, is an annual campaign implemented in states and Union Territories. The primary objective of SAANS is to accelerate action against childhood pneumonia, a leading cause of child mortality.
- SAANS will initiate a public awareness campaign to educate communities about effective pneumonia prevention strategies. This includes promoting practices such as breastfeeding, age-appropriate supplemental feeding, and vaccination.
7.Bihar Police to Launch ‘Mission Investigation@75 days’ from January 1, 2024
- The Bihar Police has announced the implementation of ‘Mission Investigation@75 Days,’ aiming to streamline and expedite the criminal justice process in the state.
- Starting from January 1 next year, investigators will be mandated to complete the investigation of cases within 75 days of the registration of First Information Reports (FIRs).
- The initiative aims to ensure that investigations, including the filing of chargesheets, are concluded within 75 days of the registration of FIRs.
8.Vasudev Devnani Elected As The Speaker Of Rajasthan Assembly
- The 16th Rajasthan Assembly witnessed a significant development as Vasudev Devnani, a seasoned BJP MLA with five terms under his belt, was unanimously elected as the Speaker.
- The motion for his appointment was moved by Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma and seconded by Congress leader and Tonk MLA Sachin Pilot, reflecting a rare unity between the ruling party and the opposition.
- Devnani’s appointment brings caste diversity to the government, following the selection of Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma (Brahmin) and two Deputy CMs (Rajput and Scheduled Caste).
9.Khelo India Youth Games 2023 Set To Be Held In Tamil Nadu
- The Khelo India Youth Games, a pinnacle in India’s sporting landscape, is set to kick off its 2023 edition on January 19, 2024, in Tamil Nadu.
- The southern state has proudly been chosen as the host, and the Games will unfold across four vibrant cities: Chennai, Madurai, Trichy, and Coimbatore.
- Organized by the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu in collaboration with the Sports Authority of India and various National Sports Federations (NSF), this event is a crucial platform for nurturing the nation’s young sports talent.
- In a historic move, Squash is being introduced in the Khelo India Youth Games for the first time since its inception in 2018. This inclusion further diversifies the range of sports and provides a broader platform for athletes to showcase their prowess.
10.India-ASEAN Trade Pact Undergoes Review for Modernization in February
- India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are poised to commence negotiations in February aimed at modernizing their existing free trade agreement (FTA) and addressing the prevailing trade deficit, currently standing at $43.57 billion.
- The initiative seeks to revamp the ASEAN India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITGA) by 2025. The negotiations will primarily concentrate on the introduction of product-specific rules and trade remedies, with the overarching goal of enhancing the efficiency of the FTA.
- Recognizing the need for a comprehensive overhaul, the discussions will delve into critical aspects such as the Rules of Origin (ROO) and the integration of a dedicated chapter on trade remedies to safeguard domestic industries.
11.Education Loans Experience 20.6% Spike From April To October
- Education loans in India have witnessed a remarkable year-on-year growth of 20.6%, reaching ₹1,10,715 crore in the current financial year till October.
- This substantial increase, as reported by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), marks the highest growth in the last five years.
- In comparison, the growth registered in the corresponding period was 12.3% in FY23 and a negative 3.1% in FY22, reflecting a significant positive shift.
- Factors contributing to the surge include increased demand for foreign education, a revived interest in offline courses, and a supportive regulatory environment.
12.Disinvestment Set to Miss FY24 Target, Raises Over Rs 4 Trillion in a Decade
- As the specter of impending general elections looms, the government’s privatization endeavors have slowed, opting for caution in the face of potential accusations of selling off national assets.
- The ambitious disinvestment target for the current fiscal year is likely to be missed, with major plans, including Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), and CONCOR, pushed to the backburner. Analysts suggest that substantive privatization may only resume after the April/May elections.
13.RBI Fines Four Gujarat Co-Operative Banks
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently took decisive action against four co-operative banks in Gujarat, slapping monetary penalties on them for various non-compliances.
- The penalties range from Rs 50,000 to Rs 7 lakh, reflecting the severity of the regulatory infractions. The highest penalty of Rs 7 lakh was imposed on Progressive Mercantile Co-operative Bank Ltd. located in Ahmedabad, Gujarat
- The affected banks include Progressive Mercantile Co-operative Bank Ltd., The Kutch Mercantile Co-operative Bank Ltd., Shree Morbi Nagarik Sahakari Bank Ltd., and Bhabhar Vibhag Nagarik Sahakari Bank Limited.
Important Days News
14.Veer Bal Diwas 2023
- Since 9th January 2022, the day of the Prakash Purab of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the Hon. Prime Minister had announced that 26th December would be observed as ‘Veer Bal Diwas’, to mark the martyrdom of sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh – Sahibzadas Baba Zorawar Singh Ji and Baba Fateh Singh Ji.
- Veer Bal Diwas is a day of remembrance and homage to the “Sahibzadas,” symbolizing the resilience and devotion to Sikhism. This day is a solemn occasion to pay tribute to the immense sacrifices made by Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh.
15.Good Governance Day 2023
- December 25, 2023, is celebrated as Good Governance Day 2023 in honor of the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
- This day pays tribute to Vajpayee’s leadership and contributions to society, marked by his three terms as the Prime Minister of India.
- The genesis of Good Governance Day can be traced back to December 23, 2014, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was awarded the Bharat Ratna, along with Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (posthumously).
- In recognition of this prestigious honor, the Narendra Modi-led government declared December 25 as Good Governance Day, aiming to celebrate Vajpayee’s enduring legacy.
16.National Consumer Rights Day 2023
- National Consumer Rights Day is celebrated on December 24th to commemorate the passage of the Consumer Protection Act in 1986. This day highlights the significance of consumer rights and serves as a reminder of the need to protect consumers from various threats in the marketplace.
- The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 outlines six fundamental rights for consumers:
Sno. Fundamental Right 1 Right to Safety 2 Right to Choose 3 Right to be Informed 4 Right to be Heard 5 Right to Seek Redressal 6 Right to Consumer Education
17.RBI Grants Approval For Satish Kumar Kalra As MD & CEO Of Slice-Backed North East SFB
- Bengaluru-based fintech Slice-backed North East Small Finance Bank (NESFB) has recently revealed the appointment of Satish Kumar Kalra as its interim managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) has received approval from both the bank’s board and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
- Satish Kumar Kalra, the newly appointed interim MD and CEO, comes with an impressive background in banking. Previously serving as the MD and CEO of Andhra Bank, Kalra played a pivotal role in driving significant growth, achieving a 13% compound annual growth rate in credit, and adding over 1200 branches. His expertise encompasses credit, treasury, and risk management.
18.SEBI Gives Nod to Appoint Pramod Agrawal as BSE Chairman
- The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has given its nod to the appointment of Pramod Agrawal, the former Chief of Coal India, as the Chairman of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
- This regulatory approval paves the way for Agrawal to assume his role on the Governing Board of BSE, effective from January 17, 2024. The move comes as the term of the current Chairman, SS Mundra, concludes on January 16, 2024.
- Agrawal is an alumnus of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from IIT Mumbai. He furthered his education with a Master’s degree in Design Engineering from IIT Delhi, showcasing a strong academic foundation in engineering.
19.South Africa’s Dean Elgar announces retirement from international cricket
- Former South Africa captain, Dean Elgar, has decided to bid farewell to international cricket after the upcoming test series against India. Elgar, known for his resilient batting and leadership skills, will play his final test at Newlands in Cape Town, starting January 3.
- With over 5,000 runs and 13 centuries in 84 tests, he became South Africa’s eighth-highest scorer in the format. His highest score of 199 against Bangladesh in 2017 stands out as a testament to his batting prowess.
- Throughout his career, Elgar showcased resilience and determination, bouncing back from an inauspicious debut against Australia. This announcement marks the conclusion of a 12-year-long test career that has seen significant contributions to South African cricket.
20.India Achieve Historic Feat with Maiden Test Victory Over Australia
- India Women concluded their first ‘home season’ of Test cricket in 28 years with a historic maiden victory over Australia in a one-off Test match in Mumbai on December 24.
- The win marked a significant achievement for the Indian team, capping off a season characterized by exemplary performances with both bat and ball.
- India posted 406 in the first innings, recording their highest total ever against Australia in Tests. Despite early breakthroughs, Richa Ghosh and Smriti Mandhana’s partnership secured the meager target of 75 with ease, sealing an eight-wicket win.
Books & Authors News
21.Raghuram Rajan’s new book ‘Breaking the Mould: Reimagining India’s Economic Future,’ released
- Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, Raghuram Rajan, in collaboration with economist Rohit Lamba, has released a groundbreaking book titled ‘Breaking the Mould: Reimagining India’s Economic Future.’
- This latest addition to Rajan’s literary contributions marks a significant exploration into the potential and challenges of India’s economic trajectory.
- ‘Breaking the Mould’ seeks to elucidate strategies for accelerating India’s economic development. The authors propose investing in human capital, expanding opportunities in high-skilled services and innovative manufacturing, and transforming India into a hub of ideas and creativity.
22.Prime Minister Narendra Modi Releases Collected Works of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya
- On December 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the first series of 11 volumes comprising the collected works of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya. This significant event took place on the occasion of the 162nd birth anniversary of Pandit Malaviya, the visionary founder of Banaras Hindu University.
- The released collection is a bilingual masterpiece, featuring content in both English and Hindi. Spanning approximately 4,000 pages, these volumes meticulously gather the writings and speeches of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya from various corners of the country.
- The esteemed task of publishing these invaluable works was carried out by the Publications Division under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Science & Technology News
23.Aditya-L1’s Arrival Confirmed For January 6 By ISRO Chairman
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman, S Somanath, recently announced that the Aditya-L1, India’s first solar mission, is set to reach the Lagrangian point L1 on January 6. This point, located 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth, marks a critical stage in the mission’s objectives.
- Launched from Sriharikota on September 2, Aditya-L1 is poised to execute a crucial manoeuvre upon reaching the Lagrangian point L1. This manoeuvre is designed to ensure a stable orbit, enabling continuous and in-depth studies of the Sun.
24.United Nations Declares 2024 as the International Year of Camelids
- In a move highlighting the crucial role of camelids in the lives of people worldwide, the United Nations has declared 2024 as the International Year of Camelids.
- The primary objective of the International Year of Camelids 2024 is to build awareness of the untapped potential of camelids. By doing so, it aims to shed light on the multifaceted contributions of these animals to various aspects of human life.
- According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), camelids impact the lives of millions of households in over 90 countries. Their diverse roles extend beyond being mere animals; they are integral to the fabric of societies globally.
26 December 2023 CURRENT AFFAIRS | ALL EXAMS IMP. CURRENT AFFAIRS | ASHISH GAUTAM SIR