Table of Contents
Read the most important current affairs of 31 January 2024. Today Current Affairs covers the headlines on “The Indian Economy: A Decade in Review” Report, Intl Corruption Perceptions Index, International Zebra Day 2024.
Top 22 Current Affairs and News Headlines of 31 January 2024
1.Winners of the Republic Day Parade Awards 2024
- The Republic Day Parade, a grand and patriotic event held annually in India on January 26, showcases the country’s cultural diversity and military strength.
- On January 30, 2024, Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Ajay Bhatt honoured the best marching contingents and tableaux in a ceremony, celebrating their outstanding performances in the 2024 parade.
- Among the Three Services: The Sikh Regiment Contingent was declared the best marching contingent, showcasing their discipline and precision.
- Among CAPF/Other Auxiliary Forces: The Delhi Police Women Marching Contingent received the award, highlighting the increasing role of women in security forces.
2.Sultan Ibrahim of Johor state installed as Malaysia’s 17th king
- Sultan Ibrahim of Johor state has been installed as Malaysia’s 17th king. This event marks a significant moment in the nation’s constitutional monarchy system, where the throne rotates among the rulers of the nine Malay states.
- The installation ceremony of Sultan Ibrahim as the 17th King of Malaysia was a grand and culturally rich event, attended by high-ranking officials, dignitaries, and members of the royal families from across the country.
- Sultan Ibrahim is a respected figure in Malaysia, known for his commitment to the welfare of his people and his efforts in developing Johor state. Prior to his installation as the King of Malaysia, he served as the Sultan of Johor, a position he has held since 2010.
3.Military Regimes of Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso Withdraw from ECOWAS
- The military regimes in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger have announced their immediate withdrawal from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), citing the bloc as a threat to member states.
- The leaders of the three nations justified their withdrawal as a “sovereign decision,” criticizing ECOWAS for an “irrational and unacceptable posture” in imposing sanctions. They formed an “Alliance of Sahel States” to strengthen their stance.
- The joint statement accused ECOWAS of failing to assist in tackling jihadist threats and claimed the bloc, influenced by foreign powers, had strayed from its founding principles.
4.Punjab Govt Launches ‘Sadak Surakhya Force’ (SSF), First Of Its Kind To Cut Road Deaths
- Under the visionary leadership of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, a groundbreaking initiative has been unveiled to enhance road safety across the state.
- The inauguration of the Sadak Surakhya Force (SSF) marks a significant leap forward in safeguarding lives and preventing accidents on Punjab’s extensive road network.
- At the helm of this initiative, CM Bhagwant Mann has orchestrated the deployment of the Sadak Surakhya Force (SSF) along the sprawling 5,500 km stretch of national and state highways in Punjab.
- Emphasizing the urgency of timely assistance, CM Bhagwant Mann has championed the SSF’s commitment to reaching accident sites within the critical 15-minute window. This rapid response capability is poised to significantly reduce fatalities and ensure prompt medical attention to those in need.
5.SARVATRA: Indian Army’s Mobile Bridge System
- The Indian Army, under the Ministry of Defence, stands vigilant against external threats, prioritizing cutting-edge equipment like SARVATRA – a Multispan Mobile Bridging System.
- Crafted by Armament and Combat Engineering Systems under the Defence Research and Development Organisation, SARVATRA epitomizes innovation in bridging solutions, ensuring seamless connectivity for the Indian Army.
- SARVATRA emerges as a beacon of innovation, designed to bridge gaps swiftly, especially over water bodies, enhancing connectivity and logistical efficiency for the Indian Army.
- Developed in collaboration with Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), SARVATRA epitomizes the synergy between government agencies and the private sector in bolstering national defense.
6.IMF Boosts India’s GDP Growth Forecast to 6.7% for Current Fiscal Year
- In a notable development, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised its GDP growth estimate for India to 6.7% for the current financial year, marking a 40 basis points increase from its earlier forecast of 6.3%.
- This optimistic adjustment is attributed to robust public investment and favorable labor market outcomes, as highlighted in the latest World Economic Outlook report.
- IMF also raised India’s upward medium-term GDP growth to 6.5%, representing a 20 basis point upgrade from its October 2023 forecast. This positive adjustment extends to the years 2025 and 2026, indicating sustained economic momentum.
7.Finance Ministry Issues ‘Indian Economy – A Review’ Report Instead of Economic Survey
- In 2024, India will not have the usual Economic Survey traditionally presented before the Union Budget. Instead, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present an interim budget, known as a vote-on-account, on February 1.
- The reason for not presenting the Economic Survey this year is the election context. 2024 is an election year in India, and presenting the Economic Survey could lead to politicization due to the potential change in government after the elections. This could disrupt the regular Budget process.
- However, the Ministry of Finance has released an alternative report titled “Indian Economy – A Review,” prepared by the office of Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) V Anantha Nageswaran.
8.Government Cuts Import Duty on Phone Components Cut to 10% from 15%
- In a strategic move to bolster the mobile phone manufacturing industry in India, the Centre has announced a significant reduction in import duties on mobile phone components.
- The import duty on parts used for mobile phone manufacturing has been slashed to 10% from the earlier 15%. This decision aligns with India’s broader objectives to enhance its role in global supply chains and increase exports.
- India has been steadily growing as a hub for mobile phone manufacturing, with several major global players setting up their production facilities in the country.
Important Days News
9.International Zebra Day 2024
- International Zebra Day, observed annually on January 31, is a significant event dedicated to raising awareness about the conservation of zebras.
- International Zebra Day was established to draw attention to the declining population of zebras in the wild, particularly the Grevy’s zebra, which is listed as critically endangered on the Red List of Threatened Species.
- Thought to be initiated by conservation organizations like the Conservation Biology Institute and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, the day aims to educate the public on the challenges zebras face and encourage strategies to prevent further population decline.
Ranks & Reports News
10.Finance Ministry’s “The Indian Economy: A Decade in Review” Report
- The 74-page document titled “The Indian Economy: A Review” authored by Chief Economic Adviser V Anantha Nageswaran and his team presents a comprehensive analysis of India’s economic journey over the past ten years.
- This report is distinct from the official Economic Survey prepared by the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) and aims to assess the state of the Indian economy and provide insights into its future outlook.
- The report identifies challenges, including concerns over global supply chains, AI’s impact on services trade, and the significant energy transition challenge. It acknowledges the global struggle for recovery post-COVID, emphasizing the importance of addressing these challenges for sustained growth.
11.India Placed 93rd Among 180 Nations In 2023 Corruption Index
- Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) offers valuable insights into India’s standing in the global arena of public sector integrity.
- India’s placement in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2023 remained largely unchanged, securing the 93rd position out of 180 countries.
- For the sixth consecutive year, Denmark has retained its top position on the index, securing a score of 90, credited to its robust “well-functioning justice systems.
- The CPI, curated by Transparency International, evaluates nations based on their perceived levels of public sector corruption, utilizing a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 signifies high corruption and 100 represents very clean governance.
12.Government Appoints Four key Members of the Sixteenth Finance Commission
- The government has taken a significant step in shaping the Sixteenth Finance Commission (SFC) by appointing 4-key members, three of whom are designated as full-time members.
- The Commission, headed by Shri Arvind Panagariya, former Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog, was constituted on December 31, 2023.
- Here is the list of appointed members:
1. Shri. Ajay Narayan Jha, former member, 15th Finance Commission and former Secretary, Expenditure Full time Member 2. Smt. Annie George Mathew, former Special Secretary, Expenditure Full time Member 3. Dr. Niranjan Rajadhyaksha, Executive Director, Artha Global Full time Member 4. Dr. Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Advisor, State Bank of India Part time Member
13.President Nominates Shri Satnam Singh Sandhu as Rajya Sabha Member
- In a significant move, the President of India nominated Shri Satnam Singh Sandhu as a member of the Rajya Sabha. This decision recognizes Sandhu’s remarkable contributions to education, philanthropy, and community development.
- Satnam Singh Sandhu, son of a farmer, rose to become one of India’s prominent educationists. Overcoming personal struggles, he founded Chandigarh Group of Colleges (CGC) in 2001 and established Chandigarh University in 2012.
- He champions social causes through his NGOs, “Indian Minorities Foundation” and “New India Development (NID) Foundation,” focusing on health, wellness, and communal harmony.
14.NTPC Green Energy Inks Rs 80,000 Cr MoU With Maharashtra Govt for Green Hydrogen
- NTPC Green Energy Ltd (NGEL), a subsidiary of NTPC, recently inked a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) worth Rs 80,000 crore with the Maharashtra government.
- This strategic collaboration aims to pioneer green hydrogen projects within the state, aligning closely with the government’s vision outlined in its Green Investment Plan.
- The MoU encompasses a comprehensive plan to develop green hydrogen projects and their derivatives, such as green ammonia and green methanol.
- The agreement also includes the establishment of pump hydro projects and the development of renewable energy (RE) projects, further solidifying Maharashtra’s commitment to sustainable energy solutions.
15.Khelo India Winter Games 2024 Mascot Unveiled
- The Khelo India Winter Games 2024, a significant event in the Indian sports calendar, is all set to commence, bringing with it the thrill and excitement of winter sports.
- The mascot for the Khelo India Winter Games 2024 is the majestic snow leopard, named ‘Sheen-e She’ or ‘Shan’ in the Ladakh region. Native to the high-altitude areas of J&K and Ladakh, the snow leopard symbolizes the spirit of the Games and brings attention to the conservation of this endangered species.
- The logo, adorned with the Indian tricolor, encapsulates the beauty of the Himalayan landscape and the diverse sports of the Games. It features a Dharmachakra (turning wheel of Dharma) atop a hill in Chanspa, Leh, the venue of the Games, representing the unity and strength of the nation.
16.ISSF Shooting World Cup: Rhythm Sangwan & Ujjwal Malik Secure India’s First Gold In Cairo
- India’s shining moment at the ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) World Cup was marked by stellar performances in the 10m air pistol mixed team event and the 10m air rifle mixed team event.
- Rhythm Sangwan and Ujjwal showcased exceptional skill and coordination to secure gold in the 10m air pistol mixed team event, while Arjun Babuta and Sonam Uttam Maskar displayed resilience to clinch silver in the 10m air rifle mixed team event.
- Anuradha Devi’s exceptional performance in the women’s 10m air pistol event set the stage for India’s success at the ISSF World Cup. Her silver medal win highlighted India’s growing dominance in shooting sports and inspired her teammates to strive for excellence.
17.Divyansh Singh Panwar Clinches ISSF World Cup Gold In 10m Air Rifle Event
- At just 21 years old, Divyansh Singh Panwar continues to carve his name in the annals of shooting history, securing his fourth World Cup gold in the 10m air rifle event.
- This latest triumph adds to his impressive collection, which includes victories in Munich, Beijing, and Delhi since 2019. Hailing from Rajasthan, Divyansh Singh Panwar showcased his talent early on at the ISSF World Cup.
- The former world number one and Olympian, Divyansh Singh Panwar, showcased his exceptional skill and composure by topping the qualification round with a stellar score of 632.4.
- In the final showdown, he maintained his poise to edge out Danilo Sollazzo of Italy by a mere 1.9 points, securing the coveted gold medal.
Science & Technology News
18.Scientists discover New Kangaroo Lizard Species in Western Ghats: A “Diminutive Dragon”
- In a remarkable discovery, scientists have identified a new species of tiny lizards in the biodiverse forests of the Western Ghats, describing them as “diminutive dragons.”
- The newfound species, named Agasthyagama edge or the northern kangaroo lizard, belongs to the Agamidae family, characterized by its diminutive size with a maximum snout-vent length of 4.3 cm.
- This species marks the second in the Agasthyagama genus, following the previously reported A. beddomii found in the Sivagiri hills of Tamil Nadu. The recent discovery was made by a collaborative team of scientists from various institutions in India and abroad, conducting research in the southern Western Ghats at Kulamavu in Idukki.
19.Elon Musk’s Neuralink implants Brain Chip In First Human
- In a groundbreaking development, Neuralink, the neurotechnology company co-founded by Elon Musk, has successfully implanted its first brain chip into a human being.
- This marks a significant step forward in the field of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) and opens up a myriad of possibilities for the future of medical treatment and human enhancement.
- The primary goal of Neuralink’s brain chip is to address various neurological conditions, such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injuries. By recording and stimulating brain activity, the Link could offer new treatment options for patients suffering from these conditions.
20.Historian R. Champakalakshmi Passes Away
- The academic community is mourning the passing of R. Champakalakshmi, a revered historian, former president of the Indian History Congress, and professor at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.
- R. Champakalakshmi’s career was distinguished by her deep and varied expertise in subjects such as archaeology, iconography, ideology, statecraft, and trade.
- She was known for her ability to bridge the gap between traditional and modern approaches in historiography, contributing significantly to the understanding of early and medieval South India.
21.Scottish 2-Year-Old Sets Record: Youngest To Reach Everest Base
- A remarkable feat unfolded as two-year-old Carter Dallas from Scotland etched his name into the annals of mountaineering history by becoming the youngest person to reach the Mount Everest base camp. Accompanied by his parents, Ross and Jade, Carter embarked on an extraordinary journey that captured the world’s attention.
- Traversing the rugged terrain of Nepal, the Dallas family, with Carter securely on Ross’s back and Jade by their side, made their way to the south side of Mount Everest. At an altitude of 17,598 feet above sea level, Carter achieved a feat that defied his tender age, surpassing the previous record held by a four-year-old from the Czech Republic.
22.WHO Honors Countries For The First Time For Eliminating Industrially Produced Trans Fats
- In a significant milestone, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued its first-ever certificates acknowledging advancements in eliminating trans fatty acids (TFA), both industrially produced and naturally occurring.
- Five countries—Denmark, Lithuania, Poland, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand—have been commended for their pioneering efforts in demonstrating effective policies and robust monitoring and enforcement mechanisms in their TFA elimination strategies.
- While the ambitious target set in 2018 to fully eradicate TFA from the global food supply by the end of 2023 was not met, significant strides have been made globally.
31 JANUARY CURRENT AFFAIRS 2024 | ALL EXAMS IMP. CURRENT AFFAIRS | ASHISH GAUTAM SIR