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Current Affairs 15 February 2024

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193rd Meeting of ESIC held in New Delhi; Extends Benefits to Superannuated Insured Persons with Relaxed NormsESIC extends benefits to superannuated insured persons with relaxed normsOn February 10, 2024, the 193rd Meeting of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) was held in New Delhi, Delhi under the chairmanship of Union Minister Bhupender Yadav, Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE), and Chairman of ESIC.

  • During the meeting, Union Minister also released the book on HR (Human Resource) Norms of the ESIC.
  • ESIC adopted the Revised Estimates 2023-24, Budget Estimates 2024-25, and Performance Budget 2024-25 during the meeting.

Key People:
i.Union Minister of State (MoS) Rameswar Teli, MoLE attended the meeting as Vice-Chairman of ESIC.
ii.Arti Ahuja, Secretary, MoLE, Dr. Rajendra Kumar, Director General, ESIC, officials from state governments, representatives of Employers, Employees and experts in the medical field participated in the meeting.
Medical Benefits to be extended to superannuated Insured Persons with relaxed norms
During the meeting,ESIC  approved the proposal to provide Medical Benefit for insured superannuating workers leaving the ESI Scheme due to exceeding the wage ceiling, if the worker was under insurable employment for at least 5 years before superannuation/voluntary retirement.

  • Workers who superannuated/voluntarily retired on or after April 1, 2017, with wages up to Rs 30,000 per month, having worked for at least 5 years after April 1, 2012, will also be benefitted under the scheme.

Other noted Decisions:
i.ESIC relaxed the norms of for establishment of dispensaries, medical infrastructure / Regional / Sub Regional Offices in North-Eastern(NE) states (including Sikkim) to enhance the service delivery mechanism in NE states to achieve the vision of Act East Policy.
ii.ESIC adopted the new Policy on AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) 2023 in ESIC institutions to promote holistic well being of the ESI beneficiaries,

  • This details the establishment of Panchkarma, Kshara Sutra and AYUSH Units in ESIC Hospitals.

iii.ESIC extends concessions/facilities for non-IPs(Insured Person) to avail ESI healthcare services at “Nil” user charges at ESIC Medical Colleges and Hospitals at Alwar, Rajasthan and Bihta, Bihar, till March 31, 2025.
iv.ESIC approved the acquisition of lands for construction of 100 bedded hospitals each at Udupi, Karnataka; Idukki, Kerala and 150 bedded hospital at Malerkotla, Punjab.
About Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC):
Director General– Dr. Rajendra Kumar
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Labour and Employment
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Establishment– 1952

India & Russia Signed Agreement to Strengthen Bilateral Nuclear CooperationIndia, Russia agree to strengthen bilateral nuclear cooperationIndia and Russia signed a protocol to amend the 2008 intergovernmental agreement focusing on cooperation in constructing additional nuclear reactors at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) site and new Russia-designed nuclear power plants at new sites in India.

  • The KKNPP in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu(TN) is a joint initiative of India and Russia. This is a flagship project of bilateral technological and energy cooperation.

Signatories: Alexey Likhachev, Director General of Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation (Russia), and Ajit Kumar Mohanty, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) of India and Secretary of the Department for Atomic Energy (DAE) of the Government of India, signed the agreement during their visit to KKNPP site in TN.
On February 7-8, 2024, the Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov took part in the negotiations between Dr Alexey Likhachev, and Dr Ajit Kumar Mohanty.

  • Bhuvan Chandra Pathak, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Nuclear Power Corporation of India, was also present.

Points to note:
i.The negotiations resulted in the signing of a significant document under the joint Russian-Indian project, namely, A protocol to the intergovernmental agreement on the construction of power units for the 2nd and 3rd stages of the KKNPP in 2008.
ii.During the visit, the Russian delegation involved an assessment of power units in the 2nd and 3rd stages, including reactors 3–6.
iii.The delegation also addressed ongoing construction tasks for Units 3-6, emphasizing long-term cooperation, including potential collaboration within Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS).
iv.Apart from construction of nuclear power plant, the Rosatom State Corporation organises the delivery of reliable nuclear fuel for water-water energetic reactor (VVER)-1000 to India. This will enhance the operating efficiency through the utilisation of extended fuel cycles.
Note: The Russian nuclear energy agency has successfully built two 1,000 megawatts (MW) VVER at the KKNPP site, with plans for 4 more of similar capacity.

  • VVER is a thermal neutron reactor with pressurized water used both as a coolant and moderator.

Kudankulam Plant Development:
i.India’s only nuclear power plant established with another country (Russian technical support) is the KKNPP in Tamil Nadu.
ii.The bilateral cooperation is guided by the new roadmap for Science, Technology, and Innovation signed during the 21st India – Russia Annual Summit in New Delhi (Delhi) in December 2021.

MoH&FW Minister Mansukh Mandaviya launches AIIMS-SBI SMART Payment Card in AIIMS, New DelhiDr. Mansukh Mandaviya launches AIIMS-SBI SMART payment cardOn February 13, 2024, the Union Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW) launched AIIMS-SBI Smart Payment Card to provide hassle-free payments for treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

  • Initially the card is launched for AIIMS, New Delhi. Its services will be extended across all the AIIMS in India in future.
  • The validity of the card is 5 years with effect from the date of issue.

Points to note:
i.During the event, SBI and AIIMS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the implementation of the AIIMS-SBI SMART Payment card.
ii.This card is regarded as the “One AIIMS, One Card”.
Key Points:
i.The AIIMS Smart Payment Card resolves the issue of patients carrying cash to the hospital.
ii.This will enable the patients or their caretakers to get the card from facilitation centers at AIIMS, New Delhi, and use it for payments at hospital counters.
iii.The card will be provided free of cost to all patients and has no service charges.
iv.It will be linked to the patient’s Unique Hospital Identification (UHID) number and Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) ID issued under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM).
v.Top-ups and refunds require One Time Password (OTP) verification received on the mobile linked to the patient UHID.
vi.If the cost is lost, a replacement card will be provided free of cost and the remaining balance will be transferred to the new card.

MoRD launched Unique Land Parcel Identification Number
The Secretary of the Department of Land Resources (DLR), under the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Nidhi Khare has launched the Unique Land Parcel Identification Number (ULPIN) in an event held in Darrang district of Assam.
About ULPIN:
i.ULPIN can be described as the AADHAR or fingerprint for land.
ii.It is a 14-digit alphanumeric identification number allotted to every land parcel.
iii.The land is given with a unique blockchain ID and it is identified by the longitude and latitude of the land parcel using ULPIN from Bhu-naksha.

  • Bhu-naksha is cadastral mapping software developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC).

iv.ULPIN aims to ensure uniqueness in all transactions, maintain spatial records, facilitate linking of property transactions, and eliminate fraudulent activities.


IOB celebrates 88th Foundation Day; Launches new Rupay Credit Card & CASA variants88th Foundation Day of IOB Bank has launched new Rupay and CASA variantsIndian Overseas Bank (IOB), a public sector bank, celebrated its 88th Foundation day on 10th February 2024 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. IOB launched various new products and announced the opening of 88 new branches across India.

  • IOB launched 3 new RuPay credit card variants: IOB RuPay Classic, IOB RuPay Platinum, and IOB RuPay Select.
  • IOB also launched Freedom Current Account and Saving Account (CASA) variant.

i.IOB was founded on 10th February 1937 by  M.Ct.M. Chidambaram Chettyar. IOB stated operation in Karaikudi, Chennai and Rangoon, Burma (presently Myanmar) and Penang, Malaysia.
ii.It was one of the 14 banks that were nationalized in 1969.
About Rupay Credit Card Variants:
i.RuPay Classic: It offers reward points and benefits
ii.RuPay Platinum: It offers reward points and benefits, and includes personal accident coverage of up to Rs 10 lakhs
iii.RuPay Select: It includes a debit card that provides access to lounges in domestic and international airports, free gym subscriptions, free health checks, free golf lessons, and spa services
Freedom CASA variant:
Freedom Savings and Current Account variants with modest annual fee has features like zero fee on essentials. This also has no minimum balance requirement.
Other Noted Launches:
Digital Document Execution:
i.IOB introduced Digital Document Execution (DDE) to enable seamless online locker agreements.
ii.This ensures online execution of agreements through the Digital Document Execution platform by the National E-Governance Services Ltd (NeSL).
Green Deposit Scheme:
i.IOB also also introduced Green Deposit Scheme under Retail Term Deposits to promote Green Finance Eco System in India.
ii.The tenor of the deposit will be 999 days with an interest rate of 6.85% (5 bps higher than regular term deposits) with effect from February 10, 2024.
iii.Senior citizens (aged 60 years and above) and super senior citizens (aged 80 years and above) will receive additional interest rates of 0.50% and 0.75% respectively above the card rates.


GoI to honour PV Narasimha Rao, Chaudhary Charan Singh & MS Swaminathan with Bharat RatnaBharat Ratna for Chaudhary Charan Singh, PV Narasimha Rao Garu and M S Swaminathan (2)Government of India (GoI) announced that two former Prime Ministers(PMs), Chaudhary Charan Singh and PV Narasimha Rao, and father of India’s ‘green revolution’ Dr MS Swaminathan will be awarded Bharat Ratna in 2024.

  • With this, the total number of Bharat Ratna recipients in 2024 becomes five. This is the highest number of Bharat Ratnas awarded in a year since its inception in 1954.

Note: In January 2024, GoI announced Bharat Ratna for Former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna (LK) Advani and Former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur (posthumously).
About Ministry of Home Affairs:
Union Minister– Amit Shah (Constituency- Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat)
Ministers of State– Nityanand Rai (Constituency- Ujiarpur, Bihar); Ajay Kumar Mishra (Constituency- Kheri, Uttar Pradesh); Nisith Pramanik (Constituency- Coochbehar, West Bengal)
>> Read Full News

Sportstar Aces 2024: Neeraj Chopra and Sheetal Devi win Sportstar of the YearSportstar ACES 2024Indian Olympian Neeraj Chopra was awarded the Sportstar of the Year (Male) award at the 2024 Sportstar Aces Awards held at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

  • The 2024 Arjuna Awardee Sheetal Devi (para-archer) won the Sportstar Aces Award for the Sportstar of the Year (female). She also won the Moment of the year award.
  • The 6th edition of the Sportstar Aces awards were awarded in 24 categories which includes 5 Popular Choice and 16 Jury Awards.
  • The 2024 Australian Open men’s doubles champion and 2024 Padma Shri awardee Rohan Bopanna was awarded the ‘Ace of Aces award’.

>> Read Full News


Japan’s Mizuho Bank & its Subsidiary Set to Acquire 15% stake in Credit Saison India for Rs 1,200 crore
Japan’s Mizuho Bank Limited (a subsidiary of Mizuho Financial Group, Inc.) and a subsidiary of Mizuho Bank is set to invest upto Rs.1200 crore in Bengaluru (Karnataka) based Kisetsu Saison Finance (India) Private Limited by acquiring about 15% of their paid-up share capital.

  • The investment plan was agreed by both Mizuho Bank and Credit Saison Company Limited.
  • This is Credit Saison’s first investment from an external investor.
  • Mizuho Bank will be represented in Credit Saison by one of their directors.


C-DOT and IIT Roorkee Collaborate to Develop Module for 6G and Beyond
New Delhi (Delhi) Headquartered Centre For Development Of Telematics (C-DOT) and Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (Uttarakhand), have signed an agreement to develop a 140 GigaHertz (GHz) Fully Integrated Transmitter & Receiver Module for 6th Generation (6G) Cellular technology and Beyond.

  • The agreement also aims to generate, antenna integrate and transmit TeraHertz (THz) waves onto a single chip which supports data rates of up to several gigabits per second.
  • The agreement was signed under the Telecom Technology Development Fund (TTDF) scheme of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) under the Ministry of Communications (MoC).

Note: C-DOT is an autonomous Research & Development (R&D) centre of DoT.

Google Launches ‘Lumiere’ AI to Generate 5-Second Videos
Google has introduced a new video-generation Artificial Intelligence (AI) model Lumiere’, a Space-Time Diffusion Model to generate 5-second videos that portray realistic, diverse and coherent motion.

  • It deploys a text-to-video diffusion model for generating videos from text descriptions.
  • It also supports image-to-video, Stylized Generation, Video Stylization, Cinemagraphs & Video Inpainting.
  • For this purpose, Lumiere uses Space-Time-U-Net (STUNet) architecture that generates the entire temporal duration of the video at once, through a single pass in the model.


Renowned Geneticist & Padma Shri Awardee I.C. Verma Passed AwayRenowned Geneticist, Padma Shri Awardee Dr Ishwar Chander Verma passes awayThe renowned specialist in genetic medicine and Padma Shri recipient Ishwar Chander Verma (I.C. Verma) passed away. He was born on 25th December 1936.
Padma Shri Award:
i.In 2023, I.C.Verma was conferred with the Padma Shri (the fourth-highest civilian honour) in the field of Medicine.
ii.The award was given for his effort in

  • Setting up the first Genetic centre in India at All India Institute Of Medical Science (AIIMS) in 1968.
  • Conducting research on the decline in the population of the Onge Tribe in Andaman & Nicobar(A&N) Islands.

About Ishwar Chander Verma:
i.I.C.Verma started his career as a professor of paediatrics and the head of the genetic department at AIIMS in New Delhi, Delhi in 1967.
ii.He served as an adviser in genetics to the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for South-East Asia (SEARO).
iii.He was a member & an Ex-Vice-chairman of the Ethics Committee of the International Human Genome Organization (HUGO). 
iv.He also served as the head of the Indian Society of Human Genetics (ISHG).
v.He was a part of several Committees of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Department of Biotechnology(DBT) under the Ministry of Science & Technology (MoS&T).
Other Recognition:
i.He was mentioned in the Limca Book of Records 2003 as a pioneer in genetics in India.
ii.He also received the BC Roy National Award in 1983, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) award, the National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS) award, etc.


International Day for the Prevention of Violent Extremism as and When Conducive to Terrorism 2024- February 12International Day for the Prevention of Violent Extremism as and when Conducive to Terrorism-February 12 2024 The United Nations (UN) International Day for the Prevention of Violent Extremism as and When Conducive to Terrorism (PVE Day) is annually observed across the globe on 12 February to raise awareness of the threats linked to violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism and to enhance international cooperation.

  • 12 February 2024 marks the observance of the 2nd International PVE Day.

i.On 20 December 2022, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/77/243. It declared the 12 February of every year as International Day for the Prevention of Violent Extremism as and When Conducive to Terrorism.
ii.The 1st ever International PVE Day was observed on 12 February 2023.
About United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC):
High Representative for the UNAOC– H.E. Mr. Miguel Ángel Moratinos
Headquarters– New York, the United States of America
Established in 2005
>> Read Full News

National Productivity Day 2024 – February 12National Productivity Day - February 12 2024National Productivity Day or National Productivity Council Foundation Day is annually observed across India on 12th February to mark the foundation day of the National Productivity Council of India (NPC) and raise awareness of productivity, efficiency, and innovation.

  • National Productivity Day is celebrated as part of National Productivity Week, which is observed annually from 12th to 18th February.

The theme for National Productivity Week 2024 is ‘Artificial Intelligence (AI)- Productivity Engine for Economic Growth’.
i.The National Productivity Council was established on the 12th of February, 1958.
ii.It was registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 under the Department for Promotion of Industry Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI). 
About National Productivity Council of India (NPC): 
President – Piyush Goyal (Union Minister of Commerce and Industry)
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi
Established in – 1958
>> Read Full News

International Darwin Day 2024 – February 12International Darwin Day International Darwin Day is annually observed across the globe on 12 February to commemorate the birth anniversary of Charles Robert Darwin, a 19th-century British Naturalist, Geologist who was credited with “The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection”.The day recognises Darwin’s contributions to science and promotes scientific development.
The annual observance of  International Darwin Day was initiated by 3 Darwin enthusiasts namely: Dr. Robert Stephens, Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, and Amanda Chesworth.
>> Read Full News


Union Finance Minister Sitharaman Proposes Rs 1.18 lakh Cr Budget Estimation for FY25 for J&KNirmala Sitharaman proposed an interim Budget of ₹1.18 lakhUnion Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Ministry of Finance, proposed the budget estimation of Rs 1,18,728 crore for the fiscal year 2024-2025(FY25) for the Union Territory(UT) of Jammu and Kashmir(J&K).

  • The UT Government has proposed the “Vote on Account” or “Interim Budget” for Rs.59,364 Crore, which includes allocations of Rs 40,081 crore for revenue expenditure and Rs 19,283 crore for capital expenditure.

Highlights of the budget: 
i.This outlined a fiscal deficit of Rs 20,760 crore and a 7.5% growth in gross State domestic product (GSDP).
ii.The capital expenditure for the FY25 has been proposed at Rs 38,566 crore, which is 14.64% of the GSDP. The revenue expenditure stands at Rs 80,162 crore.
iii.The Capital Receipts stand at Rs. 20,867 Crore and the revenue receipts is at Rs 97,861 crore.
About Jammu & Kashmir: 
Lieutenant Governor– Manoj Sinha
National Park – Dachigam National Park; Kishtwar National Park
Wildlife Sanctuary – Thajwas – Baltal Wildlife Sanctuary; Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary
>> Read Full News


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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

Current Affairs 15 February 2024
193rd Meeting of ESIC held in New Delhi; Extends Benefits to Superannuated Insured Persons with Relaxed Norms
India & Russia Signed Agreement to Strengthen Bilateral Nuclear Cooperation
MoH&FW Minister Mansukh Mandaviya launches AIIMS-SBI SMART Payment Card in AIIMS, New Delhi
MoRD launched Unique Land Parcel Identification Number
IOB celebrates 88th Foundation Day; Launches new Rupay Credit Card & CASA variants
GoI to honour PV Narasimha Rao, Chaudhary Charan Singh & MS Swaminathan with Bharat Ratna
Sportstar Aces 2024: Neeraj Chopra and Sheetal Devi win Sportstar of the Year
Japan’s Mizuho Bank & its Subsidiary Set to Acquire 15% stake in Credit Saison India for Rs 1,200 crore
C-DOT and IIT Roorkee Collaborate to Develop Module for 6G and Beyond
Google launches ‘Lumiere’ AI to Generate 5-Second Videos
Renowned Geneticist & Padma Shri Awardee I.C. Verma Passed Away
International Day for the Prevention of Violent Extremism as and When Conducive to Terrorism 2024- February 12
National Productivity Day 2024 – February 12
International Darwin Day 2024 – February 12
Union Finance Minister Sitharaman Proposes Rs 1.18 lakh Cr Budget Estimation for FY25 for J&K

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