Today’s Current Affairs MCQs/ GK Quiz 17 &18th December 2023

These current affairs today are a part of our daily current affairs. We cover a wide range of topics from state, national, and international news that are relevant and important for competitive exams. Our team prepares today’s current affairs after going through many newspapers, such as The Hindu, Indian Express, PIB, PRS, etc.

Scroll down for current affairs for 17th December 2023 and 18th December 2023.

Unveiling Varanasi’s Swarved Mahamandir: An Inauguration by Prime Minister Modi

  • In a momentous occasion on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Swarved Mahamandir in Umaraha, Varanasi. 
  • The temple takes its name from the Swarved, a spiritual tome penned by Sadguru Shri Sadafal Deoji Maharaj, the eternal yogi and founder of Vihangam Yoga.
  • This recently erected meditation center gracefully rises to seven floors, accommodating an impressive 20,000 devotees for meditation simultaneously. 
  • The Swarved Mahamandir stands as a captivating architectural wonder, seamlessly fusing traditional and contemporary design motifs.
  • Its structure is adorned with intricate marble carvings, and towering lotus-shaped domes pay homage to Varanasi’s rich cultural heritage.
  • This seven-floor edifice serves as a testament to the city’s spiritual heritage while embracing modern aesthetics.

Prime Minister Modi’s Inauguration of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor

  • In adherence to the government’s pledge to strengthen the logistics sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is poised to inaugurate the 402 km-long stretch of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) on December 18.
  • This undertaking, executed at a cost of Rs 10,903 crores, features 12 stations, including six junction stations and six crossing stations. 
  • The dedicated section spans from New Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction to New Bhaupur Junction, positioned on the Delhi-Howrah rail route, encompassing districts like Chandauli, Mirzapur, Prayagraj, Kaushambi, Fatehpur, Kanpur Nagar, and Kanpur Dehat in Uttar Pradesh.

Surat Diamond Bourse Inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently inaugurated the Surat Diamond Exchange, achieving a historic milestone by surpassing the Pentagon to become the world’s largest office complex.
  • This expansive complex spans a remarkable 6.7 million square feet and was completed at a cost of ₹32 billion. The iconic Pentagon, symbolizing American power, covers an area of 6.5 million square feet.
  • The Surat Diamond Bourse is a vital component of the Diamond Research and Mercantile (DREAM) City. Boasting an astounding 67 lakh square feet of floor space, the SDB is now acknowledged as the world’s largest office building, accommodating nearly 4,500 diamond trading offices..

PM Modi Launches Second Iteration of Kashi Time Sangamam in Varanasi

  • On an animated Sunday in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the second edition of Kashi Tamil Sangamam, a cultural spectacle aimed at nurturing the cultural bonds between Varanasi and Tamil Nadu.
  • Scheduled from December 17 to 30, 2023, the second edition of Kashi Tamil Sangamam is part of the ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Yuva Sangam’ program.
  • With an emphasis on person-to-person connections, the event seeks to rejuvenate the historical connections between Kashi and Tamil Nadu, both revered hubs of learning and culture in ancient India.
  • In a symbolic act of cultural amalgamation, PM Modi inaugurated the Kashi Tamil Sangamam Express, a train service linking Varanasi and Kanyakumari.
  • This initiative not only improves connectivity but also symbolizes unity in diversity, defining the essence of India.

India’s Akash Missile Makes History: Hits Four Targets Together at 25km

  • India has achieved a significant milestone by showcasing the capability of its own Akash missile system, engaging four airborne targets simultaneously at a range of 25 kilometers
  • .This remarkable achievement occurred during the ‘Astrashakti’ military drill conducted by the Indian Air Force on December 12. The exercise aimed to highlight the exceptional abilities of the Akash missile system, demonstrating its capacity to handle multiple targets at once.
  • The Akash missile, with an impressive range of up to 25 kilometers, serves as a short-range surface-to-air missile primarily designed to protect vulnerable areas from potential air threats.
  • This demonstration not only underscores the effectiveness of the Akash system but also emphasizes its importance in India’s defense capabilities.

TIWB Launches Saint Lucia Program, India as Administrative Partner

  • Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB), a collaborative effort of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), initiated a significant program in Saint Lucia on December 14, 2023.
  • India, recognized for its proficiency in tax matters, has been selected as the Administrative Partner, showcasing its dedication to promoting international collaboration in tax administration.
  • The TIWB program in Saint Lucia is set to extend over 12-18 months. During this period, India, in partnership with the TIWB Secretariat and with the support of the UNDP Country Office, Barbados, and the Eastern Caribbean, aims to empower Saint Lucia in enhancing its tax administration.

Kerala-Based Startup, Genrobotics, Ranks Among Top 3 in Global AI Summit for Indian Startups

  • Genrobotics, a startup based in Kerala, has emerged as a leader in the realm of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for societal impact. 
  • The company gained notable recognition by securing a position among the top three AI startups in India at the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) Summit 2023.
  • Genrobotics received the ‘AI Game Changers’ award at the summit for its innovative G-gaiter Robotic Technology. 
  • The company earned accolades for its healthcare innovation, specifically the development of G Gaiter—an advanced AI-powered robotic gait trainer.
  • Tailored for individuals facing mobility challenges due to conditions like stroke, spinal injury, accidents, Parkinson’s disease, etc., G Gaiter facilitates expedited recovery, minimizing the reliance on external assistance in the rehabilitation process.

IAF Successfully Tests ‘SAMAR’ Air Defense Missile System in Andhra Pradesh

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) proudly announces the successful test firing of its Surface to Air Missile for Assured Retaliation (SAMAR) air defense missile system. 
  • This achievement marks a significant step in the IAF’s efforts toward strategic self-reliance.
  • The IAF conducted successful firing trials of the SAMAR air defense missile system during the AstraShakti-2023 exercise at Air Force Station Suryalanka. 
  • This exercise provided a platform for the SAMAR missile system to showcase its capabilities in real-world scenarios.
  • SAMAR is a quick reaction surface-to-air missile system created by the IAF’s 7 Base Repair Depot (BRD) and 11 BRD, in collaboration with Simran Flowtech Industries and Yamazuki Denki. 
  • Notably, the system repurposes old Russian-origin Vympel R-73 and R-27 air-to-air missiles, demonstrating an innovative approach to maximize existing resources.

S&P Global Ratings: Positive Outlook for Asia-Pacific Economies Despite Global Challenges

  • S&P Global Ratings expresses confidence in the credit strength of emerging and developing Asian economies, noting their positive impact on the credit ratings of governments in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.
  • The agency predicts that these economies will help maintain stable credit ratings for most APAC nations in the coming one to two years. 
  • S&P highlights that the growth of Asian emerging and developing economies will be a credit strength for many governments in the region.

NPS Assets Soar to ₹10.7 Lakh Crore with Impressive 16.94% Equity Returns

  • India’s National Pension System (NPS) has experienced significant growth in assets, reaching a new milestone of ₹10.7 lakh crore as of December 9, a 25.95% increase from the previous year.
  • Benefiting from the bullish trend in equities, pension funds have achieved an impressive average annual return of 16.94% in equities, as of December 8 this year.
  • This stellar performance in equities surpasses other investment options, with returns of about 7% in Corporate Bonds, 7.10% in Government Securities, and approximately 8.2% in Central and State Government Schemes.
  • The total NPS assets, including Atal Pension Yojana, rose to ₹10.7 lakh crore, a significant YoY increase. Notably, NPS assets in equities amounted to ₹1.9 lakh crore, contributing to the overall growth.

IndusInd Bank Introduces ‘Indus Solitaire Program’ for the Diamond Industry

  • IndusInd Bank has recently launched the ‘Indus Solitaire Program,’ an innovative community banking initiative tailored to meet the unique needs of the diamond industry.
  • This comprehensive program is designed to provide a range of exclusive benefits and features, emphasizing the bank’s commitment to serving the diamond community. 
  • Specialized banking features include 24×7 locker access at select branches for securing valuable assets, family account add-ons for a comprehensive banking experience, zero cross-currency markup fee on foreign exchange transactions, and facilitating international business for industry professionals.

Anticipation Grows for Lower Fuel Prices as Global Crude Oil Drops Below $80/Barrel

  • Calls for reducing petrol and diesel prices have strengthened as international crude oil prices recently fell below $80 per barrel, stabilizing around $76-77.
  • This demand is supported by the strong performance of oil marketing companies (OMCs) in the first half of fiscal year 2023 and the retail inflation staying within the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) comfort zone in November 2023.
  • The current situation of prices below $80 is seen as favorable for OMCs. It’s uncertain whether there will be a cut in excise duty, as seen in November 2021 and May 2022, or a resumption of the daily fuel price revision exercise, paused since April 6, 2022.

International Migrants Day 2023

  • International Migrants Day 2023, observed on December 18 annually, is a global platform to recognize and appreciate the significant contributions of migrants while highlighting the challenges they face.
  • This day serves as a reminder to celebrate the invaluable contributions of millions of migrants worldwide, recognizing their role as dynamic agents for development in both their countries of origin and destination.
  • The theme for International Migrants Day 2023 is “Promoting Safe Migration,” calling for nations to affirm their dedication to upholding the human rights of all migrants, regardless of their legal standing.

Logistics Performance Index 2023: Recognizing States and UTs for Achievements and Challenges

  • The Commerce and Industry Ministry recently released the fifth LEADS (Logistics Ease Across Different States) 2023 report, revealing insights into the logistics performance of various states and Union Territories in India.
  • Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, and Gujarat are among the 13 states and Union Territories acknowledged as “achievers” in the logistics index chart for 2023.
  • The number has decreased from 15 to 13 states this year, with Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand moving to the “aspirers” and “fast movers” categories, respectively.
  • Sikkim and Tripura showed commendable progress, transitioning from the “fast movers” category in 2022 to the coveted “achievers” category this year.

Aster Medcity Tops as India’s Leading Emerging Hospital

  • Aster Medcity, located in Kochi, Kerala, and a unit of Aster DM Healthcare, has become a leader in the healthcare industry.
  • The hospital recently achieved the remarkable feat of being ranked No.1 in the ‘Best Multi-specialty Hospital Emerging‘ category by The Week-Hansa Research 2023, published in December 2023.
  • This recognition underscores Aster Medcity’s commitment to delivering quality healthcare services, making it a preferred destination for patients within India and globally.
  • Earlier this year, Aster Medcity’s Cardiology department secured the 49th position in the prestigious Top 100 Cardiology Hospitals in Asia Pacific, recognized by the internationally reputed Newsweek magazine

Hyderabad Leads in Food Adulteration Cases: NCRB

  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) recently revealed concerning data highlighting the severity of food adulteration, especially in the city of Hyderabad and its surrounding areas.
  • NCRB data indicates that Hyderabad ranked highest in the nation for food adulteration cases in 2022, with Andhra Pradesh closely following after Telangana.
  • Among 19 major Indian cities, a total of 291 cases of adulterated food were reported, with a significant 246 cases originating from Hyderabad alone. This trend raises serious concerns about the city’s food safety.

Kotak Mahindra Bank Partners With IITK To Launch Kotak School Of Sustainability

  • The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT) and Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KMBL) have collaborated to establish the Kotak School of Sustainability. 
  • The partnership aims to provide leadership solutions for sustainability and prepare future generations to champion sustainable development.
  • The Kotak School of Sustainability is hailed as India’s first fully integrated institution dedicated to sustainability education. 
  • Funded by Kotak Mahindra Bank through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, the school aims to play a crucial role in shaping the future of sustainability initiatives in the country.
  • The initiative intends to offer comprehensive academic and skill-building programs at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed to address complex sustainability challenges.

Sheikh Nawab AI-Ahmad AI-Sahab, Kuwait Emir, Passed Away at the Age of 86

  • India observes a one-day state mourning on Sunday, December 17, following the passing of the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawab AI-Ahmad AI-Jaber AI-Sabah, who died on December 16, 2023, at the age of 86.
  • The Union Home Ministry has issued protocols for states to observe during this mourning period. In solidarity with the people of Kuwait, the government has suspended all official entertainment on the day of mourning, expressing collective grief.

Israel Appoints Reuven Azar As New Ambassador To India With Expanded Diplomatic Role

  • The Israeli government has approved the appointment of Reuven Azar as the new Ambassador to India, with an expanded role as the non-resident Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Bhutan.
  • Azar, with a background in International Relations, currently serves as the Ambassador of Israel to Romania.
  • His diverse diplomatic experience includes heading the Israel-US-China internal task force at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and serving as the Deputy National Security Advisor for Foreign Policy.

Bhashini AI Translates PM Modi’s Speech In Indian Languages

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi utilized an AI-powered Indian language translation tool, ‘Bhashini’, during a recent speech in Uttar Pradesh. 
  • Developed by the government, ‘Bhashini’ facilitates real-time translation, fostering communication across diverse linguistic communities within the country. 
  • This AI-driven language translation system allows individuals to communicate in their native language, breaking down language barriers effectively.

1. What does the ‘Indus Solitaire Program’ by IndusInd Bank aim to serve?

  1. Agricultural community
  2. Technology sector
  3. Diamond industry
  4. Tourism sector

Show Answer

Correct Answer: Diamond

The ‘Indus Solitaire Program’ is designed to meet the unique needs of the diamond industry.

2. Which states were recognized as “achievers” in the Logistics Performance Index 2023?

  1. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, and Gujarat
  2. Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Odisha
  3. Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Jharkhand, and Assam
  4. Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand

Show Answer

Correct Answer: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, and Gujarat

Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, and Gujarat were recognized as “achievers.”

3. What accolade did Aster Medcity achieve in the healthcare industry?

  1. Best Hospital in Asia
  2. Top Cardiology Hospital in India
  3. Leading Emerging Hospital in India
  4. Most Affordable Healthcare Provider

Show Answer

Correct Answer: Top Cardiology Hospital in India

Aster Medcity was ranked No.1 in the ‘Best Multi-specialty Hospital Emerging’ category.

4. Which city topped the nation for food adulteration cases in 2022, according to NCRB data?

  1. Mumbai
  2. Delhi
  3. Hyderabad
  4. Chennai

Show Answer

Correct Answer: Hyderabad

Hyderabad ranked highest in food adulteration cases.

5. What significant event led to a one-day state mourning in India on December 17?

  1. Natural disaster
  2. Passing of the Emir of Kuwait
  3. Political unrest
  4. National holiday

Show Answer

Correct Answer: Passing of the Emir of Kuwait

The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawab AI-Ahmad AI-Jaber AI-Sabah, passed away, leading to a one-day state mourning.

6. What is the primary goal of the Kotak School of Sustainability, a collaboration between IIT Kanpur and Kotak Mahindra Bank?

  1. Space exploration
  2. Sustainable development education
  3. Military training
  4. Sports management

Show Answer

Correct Answer: Sustainable development education

The Kotak School of Sustainability aims to provide leadership solutions for sustainability and prepare future generations for sustainable development.

7. Who has been appointed as the new Ambassador to India with an expanded diplomatic role, including Sri Lanka and Bhutan?

  1. Reuven Azar
  2. Narendra Modi
  3. Sheikh Nawab AI-Ahmad AI-Jaber AI-Sabah
  4. Sikkim

Show Answer

Correct Answer: Reuven Azar

Reuven Azar has been appointed as the new Ambassador to India with an expanded role.

8. What is the name of the AI-powered Indian language translation tool used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a speech in Uttar Pradesh?

  1. Alexa
  2. Pranab Bhashini
  3. Google Translate
  4. Doorbhash

Show Answer

Correct Answer: Pranab Bhashini

Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the ‘Bhashini’ AI-powered language translation tool.

9. On which day is International Migrants Day observed annually?

  1. December 16
  2. December 18
  3. December 20
  4. December 22

Show Answer

Correct Answer: December 18

International Migrants Day is observed annually on December 18.

10. What is the theme for International Migrants Day 2023?

  1. Building Bridges
  2. Promoting Safe Migration
  3. Bridging Cultures
  4. Migrant Solidarity

Show Answer

Correct Answer: Promoting Safe Migration

The theme for International Migrants Day 2023 is “Promoting Safe Migration.”

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