Daily Current Affairs – 19 January 2024

Current Affairs Today – 19-01-2023 

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 19 Jan 2024

Japanese Communist Party & Japan Airlines appoints its first-ever female chairperson

  • The Japanese Communist Party (JCP) has chosen to appoint Tomoko Tamura, the current policy chief, as its new chairperson, a historic decision making her the first female leader in the party’s century-long history.
  • Kazuo Shii, aged 69, who served as the chairperson since 2006, is anticipated to transition to the role of chairman of the party’s Central Committee, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of Tetsuzo Fuwa.
  • Tamura, a 58-year-old native of Nagano prefecture, ventured into politics after working as a parliamentary secretary and achieved her first electoral triumph in the 2010 House of Councillors contest.
  • Conversely, Japan Airlines has appointed its inaugural female president, Mitsuko Tottori, a former cabin attendant who climbed the ranks to senior management. This move signifies a significant stride in a country grappling with a considerable gender gap in the workplace.
  • Tottori, a senior managing executive officer with JAL since 1985, the year of one of the worst crashes in airline history, is poised to assume the role of president from April 1.
  • This appointment aligns with the mounting pressure on Japanese companies to enhance gender diversity and address a gender pay gap that surpasses that of the Group of Seven nations and is almost double the average of the OECD grouping of advanced economies.

Japan:

  • Capital: Tokyo
  • Emperor: Naruhito
  • Prime Minister: Fumio Kishida
  • Currency: Japanese yen

British lawmakers pass PM’s Rwanda bill

  • In British legislative proceedings, the UK Parliament has endorsed a contentious bill enabling the country to redirect refugees arriving in the UK to Rwanda in East Africa.
  • Despite facing opposition within Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s own Conservative party, the government secured victory in the parliamentary vote with a majority of 320 to 276.
  • The win brought relief to Sunak, as his Conservative MPs who had rebelled by supporting amendments to fortify the bill were defeated, raising concerns of potential rebellion on the main bill.
  • The Rwanda Safety Bill aims to address legal challenges preventing Britain from sending refugees to Rwanda, following a 2022 agreement between the two countries.
  • This agreement was forged in response to a significant surge in refugees arriving in Britain through small boats organized by human trafficking gangs.
  • The UK’s objective is to transfer individuals entering the country illegally to Rwanda, where they will await the processing of their asylum claims.
  • Successful applicants may return to the UK, while unsuccessful ones have the option to stay in Rwanda or seek asylum elsewhere.

Rwanda:

  • Capital: Kigali
  • President: Paul Kagame
  • Prime Minister: Édouard Ngirente
  • Currency: Rwandan Franc

Airbus, Tata to set up pilot training centre in Gurugram

  • Shifting to the aviation sector, Airbus has entered into a partnership with Tata Group-owned Air India to establish a pilot training facility in Gurugram, Haryana, through a 50:50 joint venture.
  • Additionally, Airbus has collaborated with GMR Aero Technic to provide training courses in aircraft maintenance engineering at their facility in Hyderabad.
  • Covering 3,300 square meters, the Tata Airbus training center will be equipped with 10 full flight simulators, flight training classrooms, and briefing and debriefing rooms as part of the complete Airbus Flight Training Device setup.
  • The facility, expected to be operational from early 2025 with the initial installation of four A320 full flight simulators, aims to offer A320 and A350 flight training to approximately 5,000 new pilots over the next decade.
  • Furthermore, Airbus has inked contracts with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) and Mahindra Aerospace Structures Private Limited (MASPL) for the procurement of 

commercial aircraft components.

Airbus:

  • Headquarters: Leiden, Netherlands
  • Subsidiaries: Airbus, Airbus Helicopters, etc.
  • Founder: Roger Béteille
  • Owner: SOGEPA (French Government): 10.9%; GZBV (German Government): 10.9%; SEPI (Spanish Government): 4.1%;
  • Founded: 10 July 2000

Cabinet gives go-ahead for two CIL power projects worth Rs 21,547 cr

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has granted approval for two Coal India (CIL) subsidiaries to make equity investments in setting up two pithead thermal power plants (TPPs) with a combined capacity of 2,260 megawatts (MW).
  • The CCEA has sanctioned a total equity investment of ₹5,607 crore for both plants, with a cumulative project cost of ₹21,547 crore.
  • South Eastern Coalfields (SECL) is authorized to establish a 660 MW TPP through a joint venture with Madhya Pradesh Power Generation Company (MPPGCL).
  • The second project involves Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL) setting up a 1,600 MW TPP through Mahanadi Basin Powe (MBPL), a subsidiary of MCL.

Cabinet okays pact with EU on chip technology

  • The Union Cabinet has given the green light to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Centre and the European Commission on Working Arrangements regarding Semiconductors Ecosystems, supply chain, and innovation.
  • This collaboration falls under the framework of the EU-India Trade and Technology Council (TTC) and aims to enhance cooperation between India and the European Union (EU) in advancing semiconductor technology for industries and digital technologies.
  • The MoU, signed on November 21, 2023, will be effective from the date of signing until both parties confirm the achievement of its objectives or one side discontinues its participation.
  • The agreement encompasses both government-to-government (G2G) and business-to-business (B2B) bilateral cooperation.

European Commission:

  • Jurisdiction: European Union
  • Responsible to: European Parliament
  • President: Ursula von der Leyen
  • Vice President: Josep Borrell

DMI Group acquires troubled fintech startup ZestMoney

  • The DMI Group, based in Delhi NCR, has acquired the troubled fintech startup ZestMoney in what appears to be a distress sale.
  • This move follows internal communication within ZestMoney, informing employees of the impending shutdown of operations by the end of December 2023.
  • As part of the acquisition, the DMI Group gains exclusive rights to use all Zest brands, and its NBFC arm, DMI Finance, becomes the preferred lender on the BNPL platform.
  • DMI Finance, founded in 2008 by Chatterjee and Yuvraja C Singh, is the parent company of the pure-play digital lender.
  • ZestMoney, founded in 2015 by Lizzie Chapman, Priya Sharma, and Ashish Anantharaman, has raised over $125 million in debt and equity funding and was valued at $455 million during its last funding round in September 2021.

IREDA ropes in Indian Overseas Bank for co-lending to green projects

  • The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Overseas Bank for co-lending and loan syndication to finance renewable energy projects across the nation.
  • This collaboration aims to streamline loan syndication and underwriting processes, manage trust and retention accounts (TRAs) for IREDA borrowers, and work towards fixed interest rates over a 3 to 4-year period for IREDA borrowings.
  • IREDA, aligning with the Prime Minister’s COP26 announcement, aims to fund large-scale renewable energy projects and achieve a 500 GW Non-Fossil-based electricity generation capacity by 2030.
  • This partnership with Indian Overseas Bank builds on IREDA’s successful collaborations with other notable financial institutions, including Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Union Bank of India, India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited, and Bank of Maharashtra.

Indian Overseas Bank:

  • CEO: Ajay Kumar Srivastava
  • Headquarters: Chennai
  • Founder: M. Ct. M. Chidambaram Chettyar
  • Founded: 10 February 1937
  • Tagline: Good people to grow with
  • UP govt okays Rs 2,940 cr for expansion of YEIDA, UPSIDA, UPEIDA
  • The Uttar Pradesh government has sanctioned funds amounting to Rs 2,940 crore for the expansion of industrial bodies, namely YEIDA, UPSIDA, and UPEIDA.
  • This allocation is intended for the growth of the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA), the UP State Industrial Development Authority (UPSIDA), and UP Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA).
  • The Bundelkhand Industrial Development Authority, a recently formed entity, had previously been granted Rs 3,000 crore for land acquisition.
  • In the fiscal year 2023-24, a total of Rs 8,000 crore was earmarked for industrial expansion in the state.
  • From the remaining Rs 5,000 crore, Rs 1,000 crore has been approved for UPEIDA, Rs 1,500 crore for YEIDA, and Rs 440 crore for UPSIDA.
  • Thus far, a total of Rs 7,042.67 crore has been approved for the expansion of all industrial development authorities.

Cabinet Approvals at a glance

The Union Cabinet, led by PM Narendra Modi, has granted approval for various Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) among five nations to facilitate the exchange of information and cooperation in respective areas.

India and Netherlands: Cooperation in the field of Medical Products Regulation

India and Dominican Republic: Cooperation in the field of Medical Products Regulation

India and Kenya: Cooperation in sharing successful Digital Solutions for Digital Transformation

India and Ecuador: Cooperation in the field of Medical Products Regulation

India and the European Commission: Working Arrangements on Semiconductors Ecosystems under the framework of EU-India Trade and Technology Council

Leaders at a glance:

Netherlands PM: Mark Rutte

Dominican Republic PM: Roosevelt Skerrit

Kenya President: William Ruto

Ecuador President: Daniel Noboa

European Council President: Charles Michel

In the recent approval of MoUs by the Union Cabinet with five nations, in which field was the MoU approved with Kenya? Digital Transformation

REC wins ICAI Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting for FY 2022-23

  • REC Limited, a Maharatna Public Sector Unit and a prominent NBFC under the Ministry of Power, has received the ‘Plaque’ under the ‘Financial Services Sector (Other than Banking and Insurance)’ category at the ICAI Awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the financial year 2022-23.
  • The award acknowledges REC’s outstanding performance in accounting practices, disclosure policies, and presentation of financial statements.
  • REC was also honored with the ‘Golden Peacock Award’ by the Institute of Directors (IOD) for exceptional performance in risk management.
  • Additionally, the company received the ‘Best Central PSU’ Award in the Financial Services category at the Dun & Bradstreet PSU Awards 2023.

REC Limited:

  • Parent Organization: Power Finance Corp
  • Headquarters: National Capital Region
  • Founded: 25 July 1969
  • CMD: Vivek Kumar Dewagan
  • Formerly: Rural Electrification Corporation Limited
  • Subsidiaries: REC Power Development and Consultancy Limited, etc.

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