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Daily Current Affairs – March 28, 2024

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Daily Current Affairs - Banking - March 28, 2024

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National News

Centre notifies 3-10% MGNREGA wage hike for 2024-25

  • The Centre has notified a 3-10 per cent increase in the wage rates for MGNREGA workers for the financial year 2024-25.
  • The new wage rates will come into effect from April 1,2024.
  • While Goa (10.56 per cent) and Karnataka (10.4 per cent) have seen the highest percentage increase, wage rates in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are set to see the lowest increase at 3 per cent for FY’24-25.
  • Andhra Pradesh (10.29%), Telangana (10.29%) and Chattisgarh (9.95%) saw robust percentage increases.
  • The average MGNREGA wage increase across India is ₹28 per day.
  • The average wage for 2024-25 will be ₹289 as against ₹261 for FY’23-24.
  • Currently, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) wages are decided based on changes in the CPI-AL (Consumer Price Index- Agriculture Labor), which reflects inflation in rural areas.
  • In absolute terms, Haryana will get the maximum wage of ₹374 per day.
  • The lowest has been fixed for Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland at ₹234 per day.
  • Last year, the Rural Development Ministry announced the MGNREGA wage increase for 2023-24 on March 24, wage increase ranged from 2-10 per cent.

Government plans to borrow ₹7.5 lakh crores from market in H1FY25

  • The Finance Ministry plans to borrow ₹7.50 lakh crore, 53 per cent of its overall FY25 target, in the first half.
  • The gross market borrowing of ₹7.50 lakh crore shall be completed through 26 weekly auctions.
  • In the ongoing financial year, the government plans to borrow a total of ₹13 lakh crore.
  • Further, the Centre has also introduced a new dated security of 15-year tenor.
  • Of the total amount, Sovereign Green Bonds account for ₹12,000 crores, which will be issued in two tranches of ₹6,000 crores each for a period of 10 years.

International News

India releases second tranche of ₹500 crores to Bhutan

  • India has released the second tranche of ₹500 crores to Bhutan for the development of infrastructure related to the GyalSung Project.
  • This comes less than a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded a fruitful two-day state visit to Bhutan during which he assured Thimphu of New Delhi’s firm support in its quest for development and agreed to provide ₹10,000 crores to the Himalayan nation over the next five years.
  • The second tranche was handed over by India’s Ambassador to Bhutan Sudhakar Dalela to Bhutan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Lyonpo D N Dhungyel.
  • The first tranche of ₹500 crores was released on January 28 2024.
  • Bhutan – Thimphu (Capital) – Ngultrum (Currency) – Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (Druk Gyalpo) – Tshering Tobgay (Prime Minister) – Dzongkha (Official Language)

Banking and Finance

IRDAI: LIC, GIC Re, New India continue to be D-SIIs for 2023-24

  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has identified three Domestic Systemically Important Insurers (D-Slls) for the year 2023-24.
  • Life Insurance Corporation of India, General Insurance Corporation of India and New India Assurance Co Ltd continue to be identified in the 2022-23 list of D-Slls.
  • D-Slls refer to insurers of such size, market importance, and domestic and global interconnectedness, whose distress or failure would cause a significant dislocation in the domestic financial system.
  • D-Slls are perceived as insurers that are ‘too big or too important to fail’ (TBTF).
  • This perception and perceived expectation of government support may amplify risk-taking, reduce market discipline, create competitive distortions and increase the possibility of distress in the future.
  • These considerations require that D-Slls be subjected to additional regulatory measures to deal with systemic risks and moral hazard issues.
  • Given the nature of their operations and the systemic importance of the D-Slls, these insurers have to raise the level of corporate governance and are being subjected to enhanced regulatory supervision.
  • Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) – 1999 (Founded) – Hyderabad (HQ) – Debasish Panda (Chairman) – Ministry of Finance (Under)

Business and Economy

Morgan Stanley raises India GDP growth forecast for FY25 to 6.8%

  • Morgan Stanley has raised the country’s GDP growth forecast for FY’24-25 to 8 per cent from 6.5 per cent estimated earlier.
  • Morgan Stanley Research said in a new research report titled ‘Building Stronger Recovery’, for the current calendar year, India’s economy will grow at 8 per cent as against 6.4 per cent estimated earlier.

S&P GCI: India emerges as key player in growth and innovation, global vegetable seeds market thrives

  • According to S&P Global Commodity Insights (GCI), India stands prominently among the top players in global vegetable seeds market, alongside countries such as China, Japan, and the United States.
  • The global vegetable seeds market, valued at approximately $8 billion in 2022, continues to expand, driven by increasing demand for diverse vegetable varieties worldwide.
  • The vegetable seeds market, characterised by its highly fragmented nature, presents both opportunities and challenges for industry stakeholders.
  • With over 40 different vegetable crops spanning various categories, species, and families, the market offers niches for companies to establish strong positions.
  • However, this diversity also poses challenges, particularly in organising and supplying complex product ranges.

Summit & Conference

Indian Army organises First Army Commanders’ Conference

  • The Army Commanders’ Conference 2024, the first for the year 2024, will be organised in a hybrid mode.
  • The first part of the Army Commanders’ Conference 2024 will be conducted virtually, and the second part in physical mode in New Delhi.
  • The Army Commanders’ Conference 2024 will focus on key agendas related to the field army and veterans’ welfare, including the evolving geopolitical landscape and its ramifications for national security.

Science and Technology

Skyroot successfully test fires Stage-2 of Vikram 1 space launch vehicle

  • Skyroot Aerospace, the leading space-tech company, has successfully test-fired the Stage-2 of Vikram-1 space launch vehicle, called Kalam-250, at the propulsion testbed of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), at its Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Space launch vehicles consist of multiple stages: main stage followed by subsequent ones.
  • Stage-2 is a critical stage in the ascent of the launch vehicle, as it propels it from atmospheric phase to the deep vacuum of outer-space.
  • Vikram-1 launch is a landmark event for the Indian space sector as it is the first private orbital rocket launch, and it follows the suborbital space launch of India’s first private rocket– the Vikram-S by Skyroot in November 2022.
  • The test which lasted 85 seconds recorded a peak sea-level thrust of 186 kilonewtons (kN), which will translate to a fully expanded vacuum thrust of around 235kN in flight.
  • The Kalam-250 is a high-strength carbon composite rocket motor, which uses solid fuel and a high-performance Ethylene-Propylene-Diene terpolymers (EPDM) Thermal Protection System (TPS).


India adds 24 GW of solar PV manufacturing capacity in 2023: Report

  • According to a report by Mercom India, India has added a whopping 24 GW of solar module and cell capacity in 2023.
  • Gujarat led the total new capacity addition followed by Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.
  • During the calendar year, the country added 8 GW of solar modules and 3.2 GW of solar cell capacity, taking the cumulative solar module manufacturing capacity to 64.5 GW and solar cell manufacturing capacity of 5.8 GW as of December 2023.
  • Gujarat led the country’s photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing capacity among the States, accounting for 1 per cent of the country’s solar modules capacity as of December 2023.
  • Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu ranked second and third for solar module production capacities, accounting for 3 per cent and 7.6 per cent.
  • Telangana accounted for 39 per cent of annual solar cell production capacity, the highest in the country.
  • Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh were second and third, with solar cell production contributing 7 per cent and 13.9 per cent of total capacities in the country.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Kotak Bank acquires Sonata Finance for ₹537 crores

  • Kotak Mahindra Bank has acquired NBFC Sonata Finance Pvt Ltd for ₹537 crores.
  • Sonata is operating in 10 states through 549 branches and has an Asset Under Management (AUM) of approximately ₹2,620 crores as of December 31, 2023.
  • Sonata Finance – January 2006 (Founded) – Lucknow (HQ) – Anup Kumar Singh (MD)


Hansha Mishra appointed as Director in UPSC

  • Hansha Mishra has been selected for the appointment as Director in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
  • According to an order issued from the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT), she has been selected for the appointment under the Central Staffing Scheme for a period of five years from the date of taking over charge of the post or until further orders, whichever event takes place earlier.

Nayara Energy appoints Alessandro Des Dorides as CEO

  • Rosneft-backed Nayara Energy, notified that Alessandro Des Dorides will take over as the chief executive officer (CEO) from April.
  • Alessandro will take over from Dr Alois Virag, whose term ends on March 31, 2024.


Food Waste Index Report 2024

  • The UN Environment Programme’s Food Waste Index Report 2024 highlights that latest data from 2022 shows 05 billion tonnes of food went to waste.
  • Some 19 per cent of food available to consumers was lost overall at retail, food service, and household levels.
  • That is in addition to around 13 per cent of food lost in the supply chain, as estimated by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), from post-harvest up to the point of sale.
  • Most of the world’s food waste comes from households, totalling 631 million tonnes – or up to 60 per cent – of the total food squandered.
  • The food service and retail sectors were responsible for 290 and 131 million tonnes
  • On average, each person wastes 79 kilogrammes of food annually.
  • This is the equivalent of 3 meals every day for everyone in the world impacted by hunger, the report authors underscore.
  • The Food Waste Index Report 2024 builds upon its predecessor in three key ways: Firstly, it incorporates vastly expanded data points from around the world, providing a significantly more robust global and national estimates, detailed in Chapter 2 of the main report.
  • Secondly, it expands on the SDG 12.3 food waste measurement methodology introduced in the 2021 report, offering enhanced guidance on measurement across retail, food service, and household sectors.
  • This additional guidance delves into various methodologies, their strengths and limitations, and strategies for prioritising sub-sectors for measurement, as explored in Chapter 3.
  • Lastly, the report transitions from focusing solely on food waste measurement to exploring solutions for food waste reduction.
  • The chapter examines effective approaches to reducing food waste globally, with a spotlight on public-private partnerships in this 2024 report.
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – 05/06/1972 (Founded) – Nairobi, Kenya (HQ) – Inger Andersen (Executive Director)

India Employment Report 2024

  • According to the India Employment Report 2024, compiled jointly by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Institute for Human Development (IHD), In 2022, India’s youth accounted for 83% of the country’s total unemployed population.
  • As per the study, the share of educated youngsters among all jobless people, increased from 2% in 2000 to 65.7% in 2022.
  • Also, at present there are more women (76.7%) than men (62.2%) among the educated but unemployed youths.
  • The researchers also found that from 2000 to 2019, employment and underemployment of youngsters saw a rise, but declined during the Covid-19 pandemic years.
  • In 2000, half of the total employed youth population was self-employed, 13% had regular jobs, while the remaining 37% had casual jobs.
  • The corresponding figures for 2012, 2019, and 2022 were 46%, 21%, 33%; 42%, 32%, 26%; and 47%, 28%, 25%, respectively.
  • International Labour Organization – 11/04/1919 (founded) – Geneva, Switzerland (HQ) – Gilbert Houngbo (Director General)

Books and Authors

Magahi novel 'Fool Bahadur' translated by Abhay K features at Dibrugarh University LitFest

  • ‘Fool Bahadur’, the first Magahi novel, translated into English by Indian poet-diplomat Abhay K, was launched at the Dibrugarh University International Literature Festival by Jnanpith Awardee Damodar Mauzo, Prof Rita Kothari, Dr AJ Thomas and Chuden Kabimo in the presence of writers and invitees from several countries.
  • First published in 1928, ‘Fool Bahadur’ by Jayanath Pati had been forgotten until recently, while Abhay K was editing The Book of Bihari Literature.
  • It is the first Magahi novel to be translated into
  • Published by Penguin Random House India, ‘Fool Bahadur’ is a delightful novel set in the town of Bihar Sharif in the Nalanda district of Bihar.


Daniel Kahneman passed away

  • Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist an Israeli-American who won a Nobel Prize in economics for his insights into how ingrained neurological biases influence decision making passed away at 90.
  • He received the Nobel Prize in economics in 2002 for these and other contributions that ended up underpinning the discipline now known as behavioral economics.

Ganeshamurthi passes away

  • Erode MP and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) senior functionary Ganeshamurthi, passed away at 77.
  • He was elected to the State assembly from Modakkurichi in 1989.
  • In 2009 and in 2019, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Erode constituency on MDMK and DMK symbols respectively.

Important Days

World Piano Day 2024

  • World Piano Day is annually observed on 88th day of the year because of the number of keys on the musical instrument ‘Piano’ (which is 88).
  • It is observed to reflect an opportunity to promote music education and accessibility, encouraging people of all ages and backgrounds to learn and appreciate the art of piano playing.
  • This year the day falls on March 28.
  • The Day was officially established in 2015.

Daily Current Affairs - March 28, 2024 - Consolidated

  • Centre notifies 3-10% MGNREGA wage hike for 2024-25
  • Government plans to borrow ₹7.5 lakh crores from market in H1FY25
  • India releases second tranche of ₹500 crores to Bhutan
  • IRDAI: LIC, GIC Re, New India continue to be D-SIIs for 2023-24
  • Morgan Stanley raises India GDP growth forecast for FY25 to 6.8%
  • S&P GCI: India emerges as key player in growth and innovation, global vegetable seeds market thrives
  • Indian Army organises First Army Commanders’ Conference
  • Skyroot successfully test fires Stage-2 of Vikram 1 space launch vehicle
  • India adds 24 GW of solar PV manufacturing capacity in 2023: Report
  • Kotak Bank acquires Sonata Finance for ₹537 crores
  • Hansha Mishra appointed as Director in UPSC
  • Nayara Energy appoints Alessandro Des Dorides as CEO
  • Food Waste Index Report 2024
  • India Employment Report 2024
  • Magahi novel ‘Fool Bahadur’ translated by Abhay K features at Dibrugarh University LitFest
  • Daniel Kahneman passed away
  • Ganeshamurthi passes away
  • World Piano Day 2024

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