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Current Affairs 28 March 2024

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TRAI Release Recommendations on ‘Usage of Embedded SIM for M2M Communications’TRAI releases recommendations on ‘Usage of Embedded SIM for Machine-to-Machine Communications’The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI),released the recommendations on Usage of Embedded Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) for Machine-to-Machine Communications (M2M) under the TRAI Act 1997.
Key Points
i.The introduction of 5G services in India provides more opportunities for the M2M ecosystem offering increased scope for applications in various sectors such as agriculture, transportation, healthcare and industrial automation.
ii.These recommendations will streamline the regulatory landscape of M2M embedded SIM (eSIM) in India.
iii. By these recommendations, the TRAI has emphasized the importance of implementing appropriate Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures to maintain network security, reduce fraud threats, and improve the M2M eSIM ecosystem’s overall integrity.
iv.Additionally, TRAI has suggested a framework for eSIM profile switching and Subscription Manager-Secure Routing (SM-SR) swapping. This framework will encourage healthy competition in the market and offer M2M eSIM consumers a great deal of choice.
v.The implementation of these Recommendations by the Government will promote growth in the M2M eSIM segment of the telecom sector in India
vi.It stimulates the development of a  M2M eSIM ecosystem in the country, thus enabling the growth of modern M2M communications.
About Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI) 
TRAI is a statutory body that regulates the telecommunications sector in India.
Chairman – Anil Kumar Lahoti
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Establishment – 1997


ILO report: Youth Unemployment in India Rises to 83%Unemployment crisisAccording to the ‘India Employment Report 2024: Youth education, employment and skills jointly published by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Institute of Human Development (IHD), India’s youth accounts for almost 83% of the unemployed workforce in India.

  • The report was released by V.Anantha Nageswaran, Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) of India.
  • He mentioned that the report showed the youth employment and underemployment increased between 2000 and 2019 but declined during the COVID-19.
  • The report projected that youth population which accounts for 27% of total population in 2021 will decrease to 23% by 2036.

About International Labour Organisation(ILO):
Director-General -Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo
Headquarters –  Geneva, Switzerland
Established –  1919
Member States – 187 Member States
>> Read Full News


Axis Bank introduces Digital Opening of US Dollar FD for NRI customers at GIFT CityAxis Bank introduces digital opening of US dollar fixed deposit for NRI customers at GIFT CityOn March 26, 2024, Axis Bank has introduced digital opening of US (United States) dollar Fixed Deposits (FD) for NRI (Non-Resident Indian) customers at its International Financial Services Centre/IFSC Banking Unit (IBU) in Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

  • With this, Axis Bank becomes the first bank to offer digitization of GIFT City Deposits.

Key Points:
i.NRI customers can now open US dollar fixed deposits at GIFT City through ‘Open by Axis Bank’, the bank’s mobile banking application.
ii.This digital offering simplifies the process, providing an end-to-end digital solution and eliminating physical documentation.
iii.Customers can conveniently manage their FD digitally and enjoy flexible investment tenures ranging from seven days to ten years.
iv.Partial or full premature closure of the FD can also be requested through the Axis Bank mobile application.
About Axis Bank Limited:
Managing Director and CEO– Amitabh Chaudhry
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established – 1993 (Commenced operation on 1994)
Tagline– Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi

NTPC signs pact with Japanese agency for USD 200 million loanNTPC signs pact with Japanese agency for USD 200 million loanThe NTPC Limited (formerly known as National Thermal Power Corporation) has inked a pact with Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for sourcing foreign currency loans of USD 200 million (Japanese Yen (JPY) 30 billion or around Rs 1,650 crore).

  • JBIC will provide 60% of the facility amount and the balance amount will be provided by other commercial banks under JBIC guarantee

Key Points:
i.Agreements signed for JPY 15 billion loans each for NTPC Ltd and NTPC Renewables Energy Ltd (NREL).

  • Of the 30 billion, the JBIC’s portion is only JPY 9 billion each.

ii.The loan is co-financed by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and the Bank of Yokohama Ltd.
iii.Loans are extended under JBIC’s ‘Global action for Reconciling Economic growth and Environment preservation’ (“GREEN”) initiative for environment-friendly projects.
iv.NTPC will utilize the funds for Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD) to reduce Sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions, promoting environmental sustainability.
v.This marks the second loan for NTPC under JBIC’s GREEN operations in India.
vi.NREL will use the funds for renewable energy projects, aligning with its mission for reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy.
About NTPC Limited:
Chairman & Managing Director– Gurdeep Singh
Headquarter– New Delhi, Delhi
Establishment– 1975

PayU Introduces Industry-First Downpayment EMI Solution for Online Retail
PayU Payments Private Limited(PayU), a leading payments solution provider in India, introduced a first-of-its-kind Downpayment EMI (Equated Monthly Instalment) solution for online retail. This replicates the flexibility and convenience of downpayment options available in offline EMIs.

  • This will enable the users to make a partial payment upfront while the remaining can be converted into easy EMIs.
  • With this, the PayU merchant partners can offer flexible options to their customers to decide on a downpayment amount with Credit Card EMI.  This no-code solution offers No-cost EMI with a pre-decided downpayment.

Star Housing Finance Signs Co-lending Partnership with Tata Capital Housing Finance
Star Housing Finance Limited (Star HFL) has signed a co-lending partnership with Tata Capital Housing Finance Limited (TCHFL) to provide loans to economically weaker sections (EWS) and low-income groups (LIG) at more affordable rates.

  • The partnerships aim to serve consumers across different geographies by offering diverse origination capacities and levels of franchise to the borrower base.

Note:TCHFL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Capital Limited and is registered with the National Housing Bank as a housing finance company.


CAD narrows to 1.2% of GDP at USD 10.5 billion in Oct-Dec FY24: RBICurrent account deficit narrows to 1.2% of GDP at $10.5 billion in Oct-DecOn March 26, 2024, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the Preliminary data on India’s Balance of Payments (BoP) for October-December 2023-24 i.e. Q3FY24. As per it, India’s Current Account Deficit (CAD) for Q3FY24 showed a deficit of USD 10.5 billion which is 1.2% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

  • It is lower than Q2FY24’s USD 11.4 billion (1.3% of GDP) and Q3FY23’s USD 16.8 billion (2.0% of GDP).

i.Merchandise trade deficit in Q3FY24 was higher at USD 71.6 billion as compared to Q3FY23’s USD 71.3 billion.
ii.Services exports increased by 5.2% year-on-year, driven by software, business, and travel services, contributing to cushioning the current account deficit.
iii.Primary income account’s net out go rose to USD 12.7 billion from USD 11.5 billion a year ago, reflecting higher payments of investment income.
iv.Private transfer receipts, primarily remittances from Indians abroad, amounted to USD 31.4 billion, up 2.1% from Q3FY23.
v.Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) saw a net inflow of USD 4.2 billion, compared to USD 2.0 billion in Q3FY23.
vi.Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) recorded a net inflow of USD 12 billion, higher than Q3FY23’s USD 4.6 billion.
vii.External commercial borrowings resulted in a net outflow of USD 2.6 billion in Q3FY24, compared to USD 2.5 billion outflow in Q3FY23.
viii.Non-resident deposits saw a higher net inflow of USD 3.9 billion compared to USD 2.6 billion in Q3FY23.
ix.Foreign exchange reserves decreased by USD 6 billion in Q3FY24, compared to USD 11.1 billion in Q3FY23.
BoP During April-December 2023:
i.India’s CAD improved to 1.2% of GDP, down from 2.6% April-December 2022, mainly due to a reduced trade deficit.
ii.Net FDI inflow was USD 8.5 billion, lower than April-December 2022’s USD 21.6 billion. iii.Portfolio investment saw a net inflow of USD 32.7 billion in April-December 2023.
iv.The foreign exchange reserves increased by USD 32.9 billion during April-December 2023.


Brand Finance Insurance 100 2024: India’s LIC Emerged as World’s Strongest Insurance Brand LIC world's strongest insurance brand Brand Finance Insurance ReportAccording to the “Insurance 100 2024” report by Brand Finance, independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy, India’s Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has emerged as the world’s strongest insurance brand, with brand value up 0.04% to USD 9.8 billion. It has an Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 88.3 and an associated AAA brand strength rating.

  • LIC is followed by Taiwan based Cathay Life Insurance(brand value up 9% to USD4.9 billion) and Australia based NRMA Insurance (brand value up 82% to USD1.3 billion) as 2nd and 3rd strongest insurance brands respectively.

According to the report, China’s Ping An continues its reign as the world’s most valuable insurance brand for 6 consecutive years, showcasing a 4% increase in brand value to USD 33.6 billion.

  • Following China’s Ping An, Germany’s Allianz (brand value up 17% to USD24.6 billion), China Life Insurance (brand value up 2% to USD17.5 billion) have retained their spot as the 2nd and 3rd valuable insuance company in the world.

Note: Insurance 100 is an annual report of Brand Finance on the most valuable and strongest Insurance brands
About Brand Finance:
Chairman & CEO– David Haigh
Headquarters– London, UK
Established in– 1996
>> Read Full News


SC Appoints Expert Committee for Great Indian Bustard PreservationSupreme Court Appoints Committee To Look Into Preservation Of Great Indian BustardThe Supreme Court(SC) bench led by Dhananjaya Yeshwant (DY) Chandrachud, Chief Justice of India (CJI), has appointed a seven-member expert committee for the preservation of the Critically Endangered Great Indian Bustard(GIB).

  • The SC has directed the committee to submit a report by July 2024 and listed the matter for the 2nd week of August 2024.
  • This is in line with the efforts to protect the GIB population from extinction caused by collision with power cables in Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Note: The 3-judge bench included Justice Jamshed Burjor Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra.
About the Committee:
i.Member of the committee includes, Virendra R. Tiwari, Director of Wildlife Institute of India(WII), Dehradun(Uttarakhand); Hari Shankar Singh, Member of the National Board for Wildlife(NBWL); Niranjan Kumar Vasu, former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Head of Forest Force, Assam; B Majumdar, former Chief Wildlife Warden and Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Maharashtra; Devesh Gadhavi, Deputy Director, The Corbett Foundation and others.
ii.Ashok Kumar Rajput, Member, Power Systems, Central Electrical Authority, and P.C. Garg, Chief Operating Officer, Central Transmission Utility of India Limited will be the special invitees of the committee
Functions of the committee:
i.The expert committee will determine the scope, extent and feasibility of underground and overhead electric lines in areas identified as priority spots for GIB in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
ii.This will also look into alternatives to balance sustainable development goals (SDGs) and conservation of GIB.
iii.The committee will also recommend additional measures to identify additional priority areas.
Points to note: 
i.In April 2021, SC ordered a total ban against the installation of overhead transmission lines across 80,688 square kilometres in Gujarat and Rajasthan,  to protect the GIB.
ii.SC is considering to lift the total ban and has notified the government of India to define a priority habitat areas where the overhead lines should be completely banned whereas the rest of the 80,688 square kilometres could be freed of the restriction.
Note: GIB are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in its Red List of threatened species. They are also protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
About Supreme Court(SC)
Chief Justice of India(CJI) – Dhananjaya Yeshwant (DY) Chandrachud
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi

ACC Appoints Sadanand Vasant Date as DG of NIA; Rajeev Kumar as DG of BPR&D & Piyush Anand as DG of NDRFGovt approves appointments of new NIA, NDRF, BPRD chiefsThe Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of

  • Sadanand Vasant Date as the Director General(DG) of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
  • Piyush Anand as DG of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
  • Rajeev Kumar as DG of the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D).

About National Investigating Agency(NIA):
NIA, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, is the central counter-terrorism agency of India. It was constituted under the NIA Act,2008.
Established in 2008
Headquarter– New Delhi, Delhi
>> Read Full News


CCI approval on March 26, 2024CCI approval on 26th March 2024On March 26, 2024, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the following:
CCI approves subscription to CCPS B of API Holdings by MEMG LLP and 360 ONE
CCI has approved the subscription to Compulsorily Convertible Preference Shares (CCPS) B of API Holdings Limited by MEMG Family Office LLP (MEMG LLP) and 360 ONE Private Equity Fund (Fund) through its investment manager, 360 ONE Asset Management Limited (AML).

  • Target: API Holdings Limited
  • Acquirer 1: MEMG LLP
  • Acquirer 2: 360 ONE Private Equity Fund and 360 ONE AML (together referred to as 360 One)

Key Points:
i.MEMG LLP is an Indian limited liability partnership under the Pai Family Group, providing consulting and advisory services in India.
ii.360 ONE Private Equity Fund , managed by 360 ONE Asset Management Limited (AML), is a Category II AIF (Alternate Investment Fund) registered with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), investing in diverse sectors globally and in India.
iii.API Holdings Limited is an unlisted public company active in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector in India.
CCI approves 100% acquisition of Lanco Amarkantak Power Limited by Adani Power Limited
CCI approved acquisition of 100% equity share capital of Lanco Amarkantak Power Limited, a part of the Lanco Group, by Adani Power Limited, a part of the Adani Group.

  • Target: Lanco Amarkantak Power Limited
  • Acquirer: Adani Power Limited

Key Points:
i.Adani Power Limited specializes in thermal power generation in India, operating plants in multiple states.
ii.Lanco Amarkantak Power Limited is involved in thermal power generation in India and is currently undergoing Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC).


ECI Launched Saksham App to Facilitate Easier Voting for PwDsElection Commission Launches Saksham App To Facilitate Easier Voting The Election Commission of India (ECI) has launched a new app called ‘Saksham’ to facilitate easier voting for Persons with Disabilities(PwDs).This will also enable the PwDs to avail facilities(like wheelchair) at the polling stations.
Features of Saksham:
i.Saksham will offer customised services to ensure easing voter identification and registration process for PwDs. This will help the PwDs to find their polling station, and cast their vote.
ii.This will offer Voice assistance(for visually imparied); Text-to-speech(for hearing impaired).
iii.The app is available for both Android and iOS phones.
ECI announced Vote From Home option for senior citizens & PwDs
To ensure “No Voter to be left behind”, ECI has announced that citizens above the age of 85 and PwDs with 40 per cent benchmark disability can vote from home.

  • This is the first time the ECI is providing ‘vote-from-home’ option.
  • ECI will also arrange transport facilities for PwDs and the elderly.

About Election Commission of India(ECI):
ECI was established on 25 January 1950 in accordance with constitutional provisions (Article 324).
Chief Election Commissioner(CEC) – Rajiv Kumar
Election Commissioner – Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi

Akums developed India’s 1st indigenous Hydroxyurea oral suspension for sickle disease
Akums Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited, a New Delhi (Delhi)-based pharmaceutical company, has developed India’s first homegrown indigenous Hydroxyurea oral suspension for the treatment of sickle disease in a cost-effective way. This product has received Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approval following rigorous review and bioequivalence studies

  • This is in line with the efforts of India towards achieving the National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission launched by Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi in 2023.

About Hydroxyurea Oral Suspension: 
i.This will be used for symptomatic management of sickle cell syndrome for the prevention of recurrent painful vaso-occlusive crises like acute chest syndrome in adults, adolescents and children older than 2 years.
ii.The dosage of the Hydroxyurea Oral Suspension, available as a capsule and solution, is based on the patient’s body weight.
iii.The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will support Akums to conduct the Post Marketing Surveillance (PMS) study.


Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. Wins F1 Australian Grand Prix 2024 Carlos Sainz wins Australian F1 Grand Prix in one-two finish for FerrariFerrari’s Carlos Sainz Vázquez de Castro (Carlos Sainz Jr.) of Spain won the Formula 1 (F1) Australian Grand Prix (GP) 2024, held from 22nd to 24th March 2024 at Albert Park Circuit, Melbourne, Australia.

  • Ferrari‘s Charles Leclerc(Monaco) and United Kingdom’s Lando Norris won the second and third positions, respectively.

Winners of Australian Grand Prix 2024:

1Carlos Sainz Jr.Ferrari
2Charles LeclercFerrari
3Lando NorrisMcLaren

Highlights of Australian GP:
i.It was Carlos Sainz’s third Grand Prix title including British GP 2022 and Singapore GP 2023.
iiThe Ferrari team clinched first and second positions for the first time since the 2022 Bahrain GP (Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished in 1st and 2nd position, respectively).
Note: Belgian-Dutch driver Max Verstappen (competing under the Dutch flag) of Red Bull retired from the Australian GP after his car experienced a technical glitch. He previously won the first two events of 2024 season; Saudi Arabian GP and Bahrain GP.
About Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA):
The F1 Grand Prix races are organised by Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
President – Mohammed Ben Sulayem
Headquarters – Paris, France
Established – 1904


Kerala Animal Husbandry Minister Released a book Titled “A Compendium on Non-Native Organisms of India”
Animal Husbandry Minister J. Chinchurani, the government of Kerala a book titled “A Compendium on Non-Native Organisms of India” in a event held at T.K. Madhava Memorial (TKMM) College, Nangiarkulangara, Kerala.
The book was co-authored by K.V. Jayachandran, honorary professor of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries department, Kerala University along with TKMM College faculties: Sheela S., Jasmin Anand and Vinod Haridas.

  • The book offers information about invasive species discovered in various parts of Alappuzha (Kerala), the issues they pose, and strategies to prevent their spread.
  • The book was published following a 3-day national workshop on ‘invasive species- monitoring and management’ organised by the Zoology department of TKMM College.


Earth Hour 2024 – March 23Earth Hour - March 23 2024 Earth Hour is annually observed across the world observed on the last Saturday of March by turning off the lights for 60 minutes as a global symbol of unity and commitment towards protecting the planet and preserving the environment.

  • Occasionally, in the years when Holy Saturday(Easter Eve) falls on the last Saturday of March, Earth Hour is held a week earlier.

Earth Hour 2024 was observed on 23rd March 2024 since Holy Saturday 2024 falls on 30th March 2024. 2024 marks observance of 18th year of Earth Hour.
2024 observance:
i.People across the globe observed the Earth hour 2024 from 8.30 PM to 9.30 PM.
ii.Earth Hour 2024 aims to create the Biggest Hour for Earth with its call-to-action “Give an hour for Earth”
i.The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) (formerly World Wildlife Fund) and partners first launched Earth Hour as a “lights off” movement in Australia in 2007.
ii.The first Earth Hour event was held on 31 March 2007 in Sydney, Australia.
>> Read Full News

World Theatre Day 2024 – March 27World Theatre Day - Mar 27, 2024World Theatre Day is annually observed across the globe on 27 March to promote theatre in all its forms across the world. The Day highlights the intrinsic value of theatre as an art form.

  • World Theatre Day 2024 observed on 27th March 2024 marks the 62nd anniversary the observance.

The Day has been annually celebrated  by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) Centres and the international theatre community.
i.World Theatre Day was established in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI), the world organisation for the performing arts.
ii.The 1st World Theatre Day was observed on 27 March 1962, the date of the opening of the “Theatre of Nations” season in Paris, France.
2024 Message:  Norwegian novelist and playwright, Jon Fosse authored the World Theatre Day Message 2024, titled “Art is Peace“.
About International Theatre Institute (ITI):
ITI was created on the initiative of the 1st  (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) UNESCO Director General, Sir Julian Huxley, and British playwright and novelist JB Priestly, in 1948.
President– Mohammed Saif AL-AFKHAM (Fujairah, UAE)
Headquarters– Shanghai, China
>> Read Full News


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Current Affairs 28 March 2024
TRAI Release Recommendations on ‘Usage of Embedded SIM for M2M Communications’
ILO report: Youth Unemployment in India Rises to 83%
Axis Bank introduces Digital Opening of US Dollar FD for NRI customers at GIFT City
NTPC signs pact with Japanese agency for USD 200 million loan
PayU Introduces Industry-First Downpayment EMI Solution for Online Retail
Star Housing Finance Signs Co-lending Partnership with Tata Capital Housing Finance
CAD narrows to 1.2% of GDP at USD 10.5 billion in Oct-Dec FY24: RBI
Brand Finance Insurance 100 2024: India’s LIC Emerged as World’s Strongest Insurance Brand 
SC Appoints Expert Committee for Great Indian Bustard Preservation
ACC Appoints Sadanand Vasant Date as DG of NIA; Rajeev Kumar as DG of BPR&D & Piyush Anand as DG of NDRF
CCI approval on March 26, 2024
ECI Launched Saksham App to Facilitate Easier Voting for PwDs
Akums developed India’s 1st indigenous Hydroxyurea oral suspension for sickle disease
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. Wins F1 Australian Grand Prix 2024 
Kerala Animal Husbandry Minister Released a book Titled “A Compendium on Non-Native Organisms of India”
Earth Hour 2024 – March 23
World Theatre Day 2024 – March 27

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