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Current Affairs 17 February 2024

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Highlights of 2nd Edition of India Energy Week held in Goa – 6th to 9th February 2024India Energy Week 2024 from 6th to 9th FebruaryThe 2nd edition of India Energy Week (IEW 2024) was held from 6th to 9th February 2024 at the Institute of Petroleum Safety, Health and Environment Management (IPSHEM)-Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Training Institute, South Goa, Goa.
i.The International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report titled “Indian Oil Market Outlook to 2030” at IEW 2023.
ii.NITI Aayog(National Institution for Transforming India) and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands released a report titled “LNG(Liquefied Natural Gas) as a transportation fuel in Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicle”.
iii.On the sidelines of IEW 2024, India signed the biggest-ever deal worth USD 78 billion to extend LNG imports from Qatar for 20 years from 2029 to 2048 at lower than current rates. This will save an estimated USD 6 billion over the life of the contract.
About Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG):
Union Minister– Hardeep Singh Puri(Rajya Sabha- Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State (MoS)– Rameswar Teli (Lok Sabha- Dibrugarh, Assam)
>> Read Full News

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched ‘100 Cube’ initiative in IIT BhubaneswarDharmendra Pradhan inaugurates IIT-Bhubaneswar's '100 Cube' startup initiativeUnion Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Ministry of Education (MoE) has launched the ‘100 Cube’ initiative during a two-day 100 Cube Start-up Conclave held at Research and Entrepreneurship Park (REP) of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bhubaneswar, Odisha from 11th to 12th February 2024.
About 100 Cube:
i.100 Cube is a Start-up initiative of IIT Bhubaneswar.
ii.The initiative aims to create 100 start-ups, each with a valuation of Rs 100 crore, by the 100th anniversary of Odisha.
iii.The essential resources, mentorship, seed capital and access to potential investors will be provided by REP.
iv.The REP will also be expanded about four times in a couple of years with a budget of about Rs 130 crore.
v.Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) were also exchanged between 16 Start-ups and REP.
Note: In 1936, Odisha (formerly Orissa) formed as a separate province on linguistic basis. By 2036, Odisha will be celebrating its 100th anniversary.
IREDA & IIT Bhubaneswar partnered for Renewable Energy Sector
Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA) and IIT Bhubaneswar have signed a MoU to support innovation and research, technology transfer, and cultivate a thriving start-up ecosystem in the renewable energy sector.

  • The MoU was signed at the 100 Cube Start-up Conclave.
  • IREDA is a Mini Ratna (Category – I) Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)

Additional Info:
IREDA also entered into MoUs with the Union Bank of India (UBI) and the Bank of Baroda (BoB) to support co-lending and loan syndication initiatives in renewable energy projects.

MoFAHD Exempted Income Tax for Dairy Cooperative SocietiesGovt provides income tax exemption to dairy cooperative societiesThe Union Minister Parshottam Rupala, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, & Dairying (MoFAHD), Government of India (GoI), granted income tax exemptions for the Dairy Cooperative Society under the Income Tax Act, 1961, to provide relief to the cooperative societies.
Government Initiatives for Cooperative Societies:
i.Deduction for Milk Supply:
Primary cooperative societies supplying milk to the Federal Cooperative Society can claim deductions under section 80P of the Income Tax Act of 1961.

  • Eligible for deductions covering the entirety of profits related to supplying milk to Union societies.

ii.Surcharge Reduction:
The surcharge on cooperative societies’ income, ranging from Rs. 1 crore to 10 crores, has been decreased from 12% to 7%.
iii.Alternate Minimum Tax Adjustment:
Cooperative societies now enjoy a reduced Alternate Minimum Tax rate, down from 18.5% to 15%, aligning them with companies.
iv.Amendment to Section 269T:
Amendment to Section 269T of the Income Tax Act exempts penal consequences for cash repayments by the Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) or an Primary Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank (PCARDB) by its member in cash, if the amount is below Rs. 2 lakh, previously the limit was Rs. 20,000 per member.
v.Higher TDS Limit:
Co-operative societies benefit from a higher Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) limit of Rs. 3 crore on cash withdrawals, compared to the Rs. 1 crore threshold for other recipients under section 194N.
Key Points:
Interest Subvention for Farmers:
The Government offers interest subvention to make short-term crop loans up to Rs. 3 lakh available to farmers at an interest rate of 7% per annum, with an additional 3% for prompt repayment, effectively reducing the interest rate to 4%.
KCC for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries:
The Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme, introduced in the fiscal year 2018-19, now extends to Animal Husbandry and Fisheries.

  • The scheme is designed to provide short-term working capital loans up to Rs. 2 lakh per beneficiary, comparable to short-term crop loans.

MNRE issued Guidelines for the Implementation of Pilot Projects to Use Green Hydrogen in the Transport SectorGovernment issues Scheme Guidelines for Pilot Projects on use of Green Hydrogen in the Transport SectorOn 14th February 2024, The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued Scheme Guidelines for the implementation of Pilot Projects for the use of Green Hydrogen in the Transport Sector under the National Green Hydrogen Mission (NGHM).
The scheme was approved by Union Minister Raj Kumar Singh, MNRE.

  • The President of India, Droupadi Murmu also sanctioned the implementation of the scheme.

Key Points:
i.Pilot projects for replacing fossil fuels with Green Hydrogen and its derivatives will be implemented by MNRE under NGHM.
ii.These projects will be implemented through the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and the Scheme Implementing Agencies (SIAs) nominated under this Scheme.

  • MNRE will fund SIA on the recommendation of the Project Appraisal Committee(PAC). 

iii.It will be implemented with a total budgetary outlay of Rs. 496 Crores till the financial year(FY) 2025-26.
iv.The pilot project has two components namely:

  • Component A: To support the deployment of Green Hydrogen as a fuel in buses, trucks and four-wheeler vehicles in a phased manner on a pilot basis.
  • Component B: To develop technologies for supporting infrastructure like Hydrogen refuelling stations.

v.The scheme also assesses the performance of Green Hydrogen
vehicles in real-world scenarios.
i.NGHM was launched in 2023 with a total budgetary outlay of Rs. 19,744 crores.
ii.The mission aims to make India as a global hub for the production, use, and export of green hydrogen and its derivatives.
iii.MNRE will be responsible for the overall coordination and implementation of the Mission while all the concerned Ministries, Departments, agencies and institutions of the Central and State Governments will work towards the achievement of the Mission objectives.
About Ministry of New and Renewable Energy(MNRE):
Union Minister – Raj Kumar Singh (Constituency – Arrah, Bihar)
Minister of State(MoS) – Bhagwanth Khuba (Constituency – Bidar, Karnataka)


State of the World’s Migratory Species Report released at CMS COP14 in UzbekistanOne in five of world's migratory species at risk of extinction - UN reportOn February 12, 2024, the  first-ever ‘State of the World’s Migratory Species‘ report was launched at the 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP14), also known as Bonn Convention in Samarkand, Uzbekistan from February 12-17, 2024.

  • The CMS COP14 is convened under the slogan, “Nature knows no borders”.
  • It is also the first COP of any global environmental treaty to take place in Central Asia.

i.It is prepared by the conservation scientists in collaboration with United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and CMS.
ii.Human activities are the primary cause of the decline in migratory species.
About United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):
Executive Director– Inger Andersen
Headquarters– Nairobi, Kenya
Establishment- 1972
Members – 193 Member States
>> Read Full News


IRDAI Issues Draft Regulations for Bima Sugam – Insurance e-Marketplace Irdai launches regulations for insurance electronic marketplace Bima SugamOn 13th February 2024, The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has issued an exposure draft regulations, “IRDAI (Bima Sugam – Insurance Electronic Marketplace) regulations, 2024”, for a digital infrastructure called Bima Sugam.

  • Bima Sugam is a one-stop insurance e-marketplace for all stakeholders of Insurance to promote transparency, efficiency, collaboration across the entire insurance value chain.

IRDAI Proposes 30 days ‘free look’ period for policies from date of receipt
IRDAI also proposed to extend the free-look period for insurance policies from 15 days to 30 days to ensure protection of policyholders’ interest.

  • It is a part of draft on IRDAI (Protection of Policyholders’ Interests and Allied Matters of Insurers) Regulations, 2024.

About Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI):
IRDAI is a statutory body that regulates and develops the insurance industry in India.
It was constituted in 1999 and incorporated as a statutory body in 2000.
Chairman– Debasish Panda
Headquarters– Hyderabad, Telangana
>> Read Full News

Federal Bank launches Stellar Savings Account & MasterCard enabled Stellar Debit Card Federal Bank launches the Stellar Savings Account for its customersFederal Bank Limited has launched a new savings account called ‘Stellar Savings Account’.

  • The account holders are offered with a power-packed ecofriendly Stellar Debit Card which is powered by contactless MasterCard Technology.

Any individuals residing in India are eligible to open the Stellar Saving Account.
Key Features:
i.Wellness Program: 
The Stellar Savings Account comes with a complimentary wellness program that covers Daily Health & Wellness, Mental Wellness, Telemedicine and offline care.
ii.Insurance Plan: 
The account also offers complimentary insurance coverage of Rs. 10 Lakhs for Personal Accidental Death & Permanent Disability. It also offers hospital cash benefits of Rs.1000 per day for 10 days.

  • Insurance coverage is provided by HDFC ERGO Private Limited.

iii.Wellness Coverage:
The savings account also offers a complimentary one-year wellness plan which comprises fitness tracking, psychologist consults, telemedicine and offline care.
iv.Milestone rewards:
The account holder will be rewarded for achieving milestones such as making an initial remittance, making the first payment in the FedMobile application, Open a Recurring Deposit & shopping using a Stellar Debit Card.
Note: The account holder should maintain an Average Monthly Balance (AMB) of Rs.10,000.
About Debit Card:

  • ATM cash withdrawal limits- Rs.50,000 per day
  • Shopping Limits- Rs.3 lakh per day

ii.The annual maintenance charge for the card is Rs.300. The charge will be waived-off if the spending of the card is greater than Rs.75000 in a year.
About Federal Bank Limited:
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) –  Shyam Srinivasan
Headquarters – Aluva, Kochi, Kerala
Established in – 1931
Tagline – Your Perfect Banking Partner

RBI & Nepal Rastra Bank signed ToR to integrate UPI and NPI for Cross-Border Remittances
The central banks of India & Nepal namely the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) have signed Terms of Reference (ToR) to integrate the fast payment systems of both countries.

  • As per ToR, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) of India and the National Payments Interface (NPI) of Nepal will be integrated to facilitate cross-border remittances.
  • This integration aims to streamline cross-border remittances between the two countries by allowing users of both systems to conduct instant, cost-effective fund transfers.

BOBCARD & NPCI launched India’s second Corporate Credit Card on the RuPay Network
Mumbai(Maharashtra) based BOBCARD Limited (Formerly known as BOB Financial Solutions Limited) and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) have launched India’s second Unified Payments Interface (UPI) enabled Corporate Credit Card on the RuPay Network. 

  • The card caters to the Travel & Entertainment (T&E) and other payment needs of the Corporates.
  • The card comes with benefits such as a complimentary airport lounge, Reward points, a Fuel surcharge waiver and in-build insurance coverage.
  • In December 2023, IndusInd Bank Limited launched India’s first Corporate Credit Card ‘The eSvarna Card’ on the RuPay network.

Note: BOBCARD Limited is a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC), wholly owned by the Bank of Baroda (BoB).


Isha Ambani received a Special Award at LMOTY 2024
Isha Ambani, Director of Mumbai (Maharashtra) based Reliance Retail Ventures Limited, was honoured with a special award at the Lokmat Maharashtrian of the Year 2024 (LMOTY 2024) ceremony in Mumbai.

  • Isha Ambani was honoured for her remarkable contributions in the field of business.
  • Nita Ambani, the mother of Isha Ambani was also a recipient of the award in 2016.
  • LMOTY award is presented by the leading Marathi newspaper ‘Lokmat’, it honors individuals who made Maharashtra proud across India & the globe.


ICAI elects CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal as 72nd President; CA. Charanjot Singh Nanda as its Vice PresidentRanjeet Kumar Agarwal Takes Over as ICAI President for Council Year 2024-25The Central Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has elected CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal as its 72nd President for the term 2024-25.

  • He succeeded CA. Aniket Sunil Talati who served as the president of ICAI for the term 2023-24.
  • ICAI also elected CA. Charanjot Singh Nanda as its Vice President for the term 2024-25.

About CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal:
i.Prior to the appointment, he served as the Vice President of ICAI for 2023-24.
ii.In 2022-23 , he has chaired Taxation Audits Quality Review Board (TAQRB) of ICAI .
iii.He was elected to the 23rd, 24th & 25th Central Council of the ICAI for 3 times in a row from 2016.
iv.He is a member of the

  • Comptroller and Auditor General of India (C&AG)’s Government Accounting Standards Advisory Board (GASAB) and Audit Advisory Board
  • Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI)’s – Insurance Advisory Committee and Board.
  • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)’s Primary Market Advisory Committee.

iv.Currently, he is the Technical Advisor to the ICAI’s Nominee on the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Board, and member on International Panel on Accountancy Education (IPAE) Group of IFAC.
v.He is also serving as a Board member of South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA).
About CA. Charanjot Singh Nanda:
i.CA. Charanjot Singh Nanda served as a Central Council Member for a total of 4 terms.
ii.He served as a Chairman of following committees, ‘Internal Audit Standards Board’ & ‘Committee on Management Accounting’ and Vice chairman of ‘Continuing Professional Education Committee (CPE)’ of ICAI.
About Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI):
i.ICAI is a statutory body established by The Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 for regulating the profession of Chartered Accountancy in the country.
ii.The ICAI, functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs(MoCA).
President –  CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Established in – 1949


National Women’s Day 2024- February 13National Women's day - February 13 2024 National Women’s Day is annually observed across India on 13 February to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sarojini Naidu, popularly known as the “Nightingale of India” or “Bharat Kokila.”

  • National Women’s Day celebrates the contribution made by Sarojini Naidu for establishing women’s rights in the patriarchal Indian society.

The Day aims to recognise the cultural, political, and economic contributions of women in India and also celebrates the achievements of women across various domains.

  • 13 February 2024 marks the 145th birth anniversary of Sarojini Naidu.

>> Read Full News

International Childhood Cancer Day 2024- February 15International Childhood Cancer Day - February 15 2024 International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) is annually observed across the globe on 15 February to raise awareness about childhood cancer and its unique challenges, and to express support for children and adolescents battling cancer, the cancer survivors, and their families.
The campaign theme of ICCD 2024 is “Unveiling Challenges.”
Symbol: The Gold Ribbon is the universal awareness symbol of Childhood Cancer.
i.ICCD, an annual event was created in 2002 by Childhood Cancer International (CCI), an umbrella organisation of childhood cancer grassroots and national parent organisations.
ii.ICCD campaign is a joint effort by CCI and the International Society of Pediatric Oncology or Société Internationale d’oncologie Pédiatrique (SIOP).
iii.The 1st ever ICCD was observed on 15 February 2002.
About Childhood Cancer International (CCI):
President– Rodney Wong
Headquarters– Amsterdam, Netherlands
Founded in– 1994
>> Read Full News


Bihar Introduced ‘Patna Declaration’ to Strengthen Bird Conservation Initiatives in South Asian regionBihar brings 'Patna Declaration' to strengthen bird conservation initiatives in South Asian regionThe Bihar government has brought out the ‘Patna Declaration’ to strengthen bird conservation initiatives and address the challenges posed by illegal hunting in the South Asian region.

  • The declaration was finalised at the international workshop organised by the Department of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (DEFCC) of Bihar and the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).

About the Patna Declaration:
i.The Patna Declaration aims to increase collaboration between countries and organisations along the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) and East Asian Australasian Flyway (EAAF) in bird conservation activities and combat illicit hunting and trading of wild birds.
ii.It also aims to implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) at the grassroots level through the Wildlife Protection Action Act of 1972 (as amended in 2022).
iii.Task force: The declaration recommends to set up a task force on illegal killing, taking, and trade of migratory birds in the South Asian region.

  • This will facilitate the implementation of guidelines and action plans and consider the necessity of new recommendations to respond to specific problems

About the Workshop:
i.The three-day workshop on ‘Bird Conservation Initiatives in India with a special focus on illegal hunting, taking and trade of birds-conservation and management issues and concerns – South Asian Regional Perspective’ was held from 5th to 7th February 2024 in Patna, Bihar.
ii.Delegates from national and international wildlife organisations participated in the workshop. Around 15 delegates from 8 countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Singapore, and the Netherlands attended the workshop.
Note: The declaration was endorsed by delegates from all the 8 countries.

Arunachal Pradesh becomes the first North-Eastern state to achieve 100% household tap water connections
Chief Minister (CM) of Arunachal Pradesh (AR), Pema Khandu announced that AR has achieved 100% household tap water connections under the centrally sponsored Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).

  • With this, AR has become the first state in North-East India and as the 10th state/Union territory in overall India to achieve 100% saturation of Har Ghar Jal (tap water in every household) under JJM.
  • JJM was launched in 2019 by the Ministry of Jalshakti (MoJ) to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections to all households in rural India by 2024.
  • Tirap was the first district to achieve 100% Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) in AR.


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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

Current Affairs 17 February 2024
Highlights of 2nd Edition of India Energy Week held in Goa – 6th to 9th February 2024
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched ‘100 Cube’ initiative in IIT Bhubaneswar
MoFAHD Exempted Income Tax for Dairy Cooperative Societies
MNRE issued Guidelines for the Implementation of Pilot Projects to Use Green Hydrogen in the Transport Sector
State of the World’s Migratory Species Report released at CMS COP14 in Uzbekistan
IRDAI Issues Draft Regulations for Bima Sugam – Insurance e-Marketplace 
Federal Bank launches Stellar Savings Account & MasterCard enabled Stellar Debit Card 
RBI & Nepal Rastra Bank signed ToR to integrate UPI and NPI for Cross-Border Remittances
BOBCARD & NPCI launched India’s second Corporate Credit Card on the RuPay Network
Isha Ambani received a Special Award at LMOTY 2024
ICAI elects CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal as 72nd President; CA. Charanjot Singh Nanda as its Vice President
National Women’s Day 2024- February 13
International Childhood Cancer Day 2024- February 15
Bihar Introduced ‘Patna Declaration’ to Strengthen Bird Conservation Initiatives in South Asian region
Arunachal Pradesh becomes the first North-Eastern state to achieve 100% household tap water connections

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