Table of Contents
Read the most important current affairs of 30 December 2023. Today Current Affairs covers the headlines on India’s Petro Capital, ULFA Peace Accord, New R&D Facility In Bengaluru.
Top 16 Current Affairs and News Headlines of 30 December 2023
1.Gujarat Claims The Title Of India’s Petro Capital
- Gujarat has emerged as the nation’s petrochemical powerhouse, boasting the world’s largest grassroots oil refinery and a state-of-the-art petrochemical complex.
- The dynamic growth of the petrochemical sector in Gujarat is exemplified by the monumental achievements of Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RIL) Jamnagar refinery and the ONGC Petro additions Limited (OPaL) petrochemical complex in Dahej.
- With established players like Reliance, Shell, ONGC, and others having firmly established their manufacturing units in Gujarat, experts foresee the state becoming unparalleled in the chemicals and petrochemicals sector.
- The upcoming 10th edition of VGGS, themed ‘Gateway to the Future,’ is poised to further boost investments and collaborations in the petrochemical domain.
2.Argentina Rejects BRICS Membership under President Javier Milei
- Argentine President Javier Milei has officially declined the invitation to join the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) grouping of major emerging economies.
- The rejection was conveyed through letters sent to BRICS leaders, solidifying Argentina’s decision to abstain from the bloc. President Milei’s rejection was grounded in the assertion that Argentina’s membership was “not considered appropriate at this time.”
- The letters emphasized a departure from the foreign policy approach of the previous administration, indicating a comprehensive review of decisions made earlier. The president highlighted that his geopolitical alignment prioritizes ties with the United States and Israel, eschewing alliances with communist nations.
3.Lt. Governor Inaugurated CRC Samba-Jammu for Person With Disabilities
- The Lt. Governor Shri Manoj Sinha of the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir unveiled the commemorative plaque, officially inaugurating the Composite Regional Centre (CRC) for Skill Development, Rehabilitation & Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) in Samba – Jammu.
- The CRC Samba – Jammu, an initiative by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India, aims to provide comprehensive support, skill development, and rehabilitation services. The overarching goal is to empower individuals with disabilities and facilitate their seamless integration into mainstream society.
4.Kerala CM Unveils Board For Transparent PSU Hiring
- Kerala’s Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, recently inaugurated the Kerala Public Enterprises (Selection and Recruitment) Board, a pivotal step toward enhancing transparency and efficiency in the recruitment processes of public sector units (PSUs).
- The primary objective of the newly inaugurated board is to streamline the selection process for competent individuals, initially focusing on public sector units under the Department of Industries and Commerce.
- Moreover, it opens its services to PSUs from other departments, aiming to bolster the overall effectiveness of public sector institutions in the state.
5.Gujarat To Unveil India’s First Submarine Tourism In Dwarka
- The Gujarat government, in collaboration with Mazgaon Dock Limited (MDL), is set to make waves in the tourism industry by introducing India’s first submarine tourism venture.
- This ambitious project aims to explore the mesmerizing marine life surrounding Bet Dwarka, a sacred island off the coast of Dwarka city, steeped in mythological significance within Hinduism.
- Tourists will have the opportunity to dive 100 meters below the sea surface in a specially designed submarine, providing an up-close encounter with the rich marine life surrounding the island.
- The tourism facility is expected to be operationalized before Diwali in 2024, marking a festive occasion for both locals and tourists.
6.Defence Secretary Opens HAL’s Aero Engine R&D Facility In Bengaluru
- Defence Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane inaugurated a new design and test facility at Aero Engine Research and Development Centre (AERDC) of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bengaluru, Karnataka on December 29, 2023.
- The newly inaugurated facility, spanning over 10,000 sq. meters, is poised to be a hub of innovation in the field of aerospace engineering. Equipped with special machines, advanced setups, and computational tools, it signifies HAL’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements.
7.Navy Unveils New Admirals’ Epaulettes in ‘True Reflection of Indian Rich Maritime Heritage’
- In a significant move reflecting India’s commitment to its maritime heritage and a departure from colonial vestiges, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the unveiling of new designs for Admirals’ epaulettes and a renaming of ranks within the Indian Navy.
- The redesigned Admirals’ epaulettes mark a symbolic departure from the past, with the octagon taking center stage.
- Inspired by the naval ensign and drawing from the rajmudra (royal seal) of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the new design aims to encapsulate India’s rich maritime heritage.
- The octagon, golden navy button top, and symbols of an Indian sword and telescope crossed, along with stars indicating ranks, contribute to a visual representation of the Navy’s commitment to national pride and heritage.
8.Core Sector Output Growth Hits Six-Month Low at 7.8% in November
- In November, the production growth of eight crucial infrastructure sectors hit a six-month low at 7.8%, primarily attributed to declines in the crude oil and cement sectors.
- While this figure is higher than the 5.7% recorded a year ago, it reflects a slowdown from October’s 12% growth.
- The last comparable dip occurred in May, with a growth rate of 5.2%. Despite the overall deceleration, coal and refinery product outputs demonstrated double-digit growth.
- For April-November 2023-24, the combined growth of these sectors reached 8.6%, surpassing the 8.1% in the corresponding period last year. These sectors hold significant weight, contributing 40.27% to the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
9.Projected Threefold Growth in Tax Collection Under Modi’s 10-Year Governance
- In the span of 10 years under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, both personal income and corporate tax collections in India are expected to surge to over Rs 19 trillion.
- Net direct tax collections, accounting for personal income tax and corporate tax, escalated from Rs 6.38 trillion in FY 2013-14 to Rs 16.61 trillion in FY 2022-23.
- The current fiscal year exhibits a 20% increase in collections, projecting a total mop-up of around Rs 19 trillion by March 31, 2024—surpassing the estimated Rs 18.23 trillion in the 2023-24 Budget.
10.Government Modifies Interest Rates on Small Savings Schemes
- The Union government announced adjustments in the returns on specific savings schemes, leaving the Public Provident Fund (PPF) rate untouched for the sixth consecutive quarter.
- The Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme (SSAS) will now yield 8.2%, up from the previous 8%, while the 3-year time deposit rate increases marginally to 7.1% from 7%. Despite expectations of a broader reset, the PPF rate remains stagnant at 7.1%.
- The rates for the upcoming quarter are determined by government bond yields between September and November 2023 for matching maturities, as per the adopted formula. The decision comes after a series of rate hikes in select small savings schemes over the past six quarters.
11.Government Allocates Rs 1,170 Crore For Ladakh Roads: Gadkari
- In a significant move towards enhancing infrastructure in Ladakh, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that the government has sanctioned a whopping Rs 1,170.16 crore for 29 road projects in the region.
- This development aims to address the connectivity challenges faced by Ladakh, the largest Union Territory in terms of area and the second least populous in the country.
- Moreover, as part of the Central Road and Infrastructure Fund (CRIF) scheme for the fiscal year 2023-24, an additional Rs 181.71 crore has been earmarked specifically for the construction of eight bridges in Ladakh.
12.ULFA Peace Accord Marks Historic Day for Assam: Amit Shah
- The pro-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) inked a historic peace accord with the central and state governments, marking a significant stride towards ending decades of insurgency in Assam.
- The ULFA’s commitment to renounce violence and disband the organization was a pivotal aspect of the accord, fostering an atmosphere of peace.
- Embracing the democratic process, the ULFA pledged to participate in peaceful political activities within the framework of the law, promoting stability and unity.
- The accord includes ULFA’s agreement to vacate all camps occupied by its armed cadres, showcasing a tangible step towards normalcy and reconciliation.
13.Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar Appointed as Ex-Officio Chancellor of Pondicherry University
- The Vice President of India, Jagdeep Dhankhar, has been appointed as the ex-officio Chancellor of Pondicherry University. This appointment comes as a result of a modification in Statute 1(1) of the Pondicherry University Act of 1985.
- The official communication from Rajneesh Bhutani, Registrar-in-charge of the University, highlights that this change is effective from December 5, as published in the official gazette by the Government of India.
- Pondicherry University, established in 1985 by an Act of Parliament, has been a prominent institution for higher education in the region. The Pondicherry University Act of 1985 outlines the governance structure of the university, including the position of the Chancellor.
Books & Authors News
14.A Book Titled “The Babri Masjid Ram Mandir Dilemma” Authored by Madhav Godbole
- The Babri Masjid Ram Mandir dispute has been a longstanding and contentious issue in India, intricately woven into the fabric of its history and politics.
- A recent publication, titled “The Babri Masjid Ram Mandir Dilemma: An Acid Test for India’s Constitution,” authored by Madhav Godbole delves into the complexities of the issue, emphasizing the missed opportunities for resolution and the imperative for a modern and equitable solution.
- The book underscores the possibility of preventing the Babri Masjid’s demolition, citing instances where timely intervention by leaders such as Rajiv Gandhi, V.P. Singh, and P.V. Narasimha Rao could have averted the hardening of political positions.
Science & Technology News
15.NASA To Study Asteriod ‘Apophis’, Approaching Earth On April 13, 2029
- NASA, the renowned space agency, has redirected its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from its recent mission to asteroid Bennu to study another celestial body: Apophis.
- This asteroid, named after the Egyptian god of Chaos, is anticipated to pass within a remarkably close distance of 32,000 kilometers from Earth’s surface on April 13, 2029.
- Apophis is classified as an “S-type” asteroid, composed of silicate and nickel-iron materials, distinguishing it from other asteroid types. As Apophis approaches Earth, OSIRIS-APEX will get within 25 meters of its surface, aiming to extract crucial information.
16.China’s Groundbreaking Voyage: Mengxiang Sets Sail for Earth’s Mantle Exploration
- China has introduced its groundbreaking ocean drilling vessel, Mengxiang. Developed by the China Geological Survey in collaboration with 150 research institutes and companies, the vessel is named “dream” in Chinese, reflecting its ambitious mission.
- The Mengxiang aims to penetrate Earth’s crust and delve into the mysteries of the mantle, marking humanity’s inaugural foray into this uncharted territory.
- Weighing an impressive 33,000 tonnes and stretching 179 meters (590 feet), Mengxiang is a colossal ship with exceptional capabilities. It boasts a range of 15,000 nautical miles and can operate for 120 days per port call.
- Engineered to withstand powerful tropical cyclones, it stands as a testament to advancements in deep-sea drilling technology. The vessel’s drilling prowess is unmatched, with the capacity to reach depths of 11,000 meters below the sea’s surface.
30 December 2023 CURRENT AFFAIRS | ALL EXAMS IMP. CURRENT AFFAIRS | ASHISH GAUTAM SIR