Daily Current Affairs – 25 January 2024

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 25 January 2024.

India, France, UAE Joint Mega Air Exercise over Arabian Sea:

  • In the expanse of the Arabian Sea, India, France, and the United Arab Emirates orchestrated a substantial aerial maneuver, responding to escalating global apprehensions concerning Houthi militants’ targeting of numerous commercial vessels navigating the region’s pivotal waterways.
  • Termed ‘Desert Knight,’ the exercise showcased cutting-edge airborne assets and combat jets from the air forces of the three nations.
  • The Indian Air Force’s participation encompassed Su-30 MKI, MiG-29, and Jaguar fighter jets, in addition to AWACS (airborne early warning and control aircraft), a C-130-J transport plane, and air-to-air refueling aircraft.
  • Executed within the Indian FIR (Flight Information Regions), the drill involved IAF aircraft operating from multiple bases across India.
  • Globally, airspace is demarcated into FIRs, each under the jurisdiction of a controlling authority, ensuring the provision of air traffic services to traversing aircraft.
  • This exercise unfolded against a backdrop of heightened Houthi militant assaults on commercial vessels in the Red Sea.
  • The trilateral display occurred just days before India’s Republic Day celebrations, where the French air force’s Rafale fighter jets and an Airbus A330 multi-role tanker transport aircraft are scheduled to participate.

Wabtec Secures $157 Million Order for Train Braking System from Siemens India:

  • Wabtec Corporation clinched a substantial $157 million order to supply advanced brake systems to Siemens India, catering to the production of 9000 horsepower locomotives for the Railways.
  • This order, spanning 11 years, aims to elevate operational performance, efficiency, and safety through cutting-edge technology for a new fleet of 1,200 electric locomotives.
  • Wabtec will furnish Siemens with brake systems from its facility in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, with a commitment to maintenance for 35 years, while Siemens assembles the locomotives at the Indian Railways factory in Dahod, Gujarat.
  • Siemens, emphasizing their dedication to revolutionizing rail transport in India with state-of-the-art technologies, expressed enthusiasm for the partnership with Wabtec.
  • The braking systems promise safety features, heightened reliability, and extended maintenance intervals, with Wabtec boasting its contributions to other Indian Railway and Metro projects.

DGCA Imposes Rs 1.10 Crore Penalty on Air India for Safety Violations:

  • The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) wielded its regulatory authority, imposing a significant penalty of Rs 1.10 crore on Air India in response to safety violations reported by an airline employee.
  • Triggered by a voluntary safety report, alleging violations on certain long-range, terrain-critical flight routes, DGCA conducted a comprehensive investigation into the allegations.
  • Notably, IndiGo faced a Rs 1.20 crore fine for an incident where passengers disembarked onto the tarmac to consume food, prompting a stern reaction from Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.
  • In a preceding instance, DGCA issued show cause notices to both Air India and SpiceJet for failing to deploy pilots trained for low-visibility conditions during flight diversions amid dense fog at the Delhi airport in late December.

Google Terminates Contract with Australian AI Data Firm:

  • Google has severed ties with Appen, an Australian data firm pivotal in training its language model AI tools utilized in Bard, Search, and various other products.
  • Mencini emphasized Google’s collaborative efforts with Appen to facilitate a seamless transition.
  • Appen, unaware of Google’s decision to terminate the contract, disclosed this development in a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
  • Employees at firms like Appen often handle arduous aspects of AI training, serving as the underpaid but indispensable backbone of the industry, contributing to data quality assessment and AI model refinement.
  • Last year, select Appen employees, members of the Alphabet Workers Union, advocated for a pay raise from $10 to $15 per hour, resulting in some compensation increases. However, economic conditions led to layoffs.

Karnataka Inks MoUs Worth Rs 23,000 Cr at WEF Meet:

  • Karnataka successfully finalized eight MoUs valued at Rs 23,000 crore with global companies.
  • Key agreements involve a Rs 20,000 crore investment by Web Werks for a hyper-scale data center and Microsoft’s commitment to digital skilling initiatives.
  • Hitachi signed an MoU aiming to boost economic growth in Karnataka, focusing on rural areas and emphasizing sectors like healthcare, education, and Panchayat E-Governance.
  • The collective effort intends to generate more opportunities and employment in the state, with additional MoUs spanning digital healthcare, smart city infrastructure, renewable energy, and data centers worth Rs 3000 crore.
  • Artificial Intelligence took center stage in discussions with companies such as HCL, HP, Cisco, and Sony, while sustainability and citizen services were also focal points with engagements involving companies like Planet, Volvo, and Nestle.

CCI Clears Merger of Fincare Small Finance Bank with AU Small Finance Bank:

  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) granted approval for the merger of Fincare Small Finance Bank with AU Small Finance Bank.
  • The all-stock merger, approved by both banks’ boards in October last year, entails an infusion of Rs 700 crore by Fincare Business Services, the promoter of Fincare SFB, prior to completion.
  • The scheme remains subject to approval by the Reserve Bank of India.

Haryana Excels in Khelo India Games:

  • In the Khelo India games, Haryana secured the gold medal, with Rajasthan claiming silver in the 10m air pistol mixed team event, while Tamil Nadu clinched bronze.
  • Maharashtra dominated rhythmic gymnastics, with Kimaya Karle and Sanyukta Kale securing the top two spots in the Hoop event, and Sanyukta Kale claiming the first position in the Ball event. Muskan Rana from J&K featured prominently in both events.
  • In the Club event of rhythmic gymnastics, Muskan Rana secured the top spot, with Parina Madanpotra from Maharashtra and Life Adlakha from Haryana securing the second and third positions, respectively.

Bharat Ratna Conferred to Late Karpoori Thakur:

  • In a significant political announcement, the government conferred the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, posthumously to socialist icon and former Chief Minister of Bihar, late Karpoori Thakur.
  • This announcement, made on the eve of Late Thakur’s 100th birth celebration, recognizes his pivotal role in consolidating backward castes into a potent bloc and advocating for sub-divisions within the OBC quota for the upliftment of the most backward groups. Karpoori Thakur will be the 49th recipient and the 15th to receive the award posthumously.

Recognition for Indian-Origin Young Scientists in the UK:

  • Three Indian-origin researchers have been acknowledged among the nine recipients of the esteemed Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK, a recognition for those pushing scientific boundaries for the betterment of the world.
  • The awards, spanning Chemical Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Life Sciences, honor research contributing to the transformation of medicine, technology, and our understanding of the world.
  • Professors Rahul R Nair, Mehul Malik, and Tanmay Bharat are among the recipients, set to be honored at a gala dinner in London on February 27, with grants totaling £480,000.
  • Nair, a materials physicist at The University of Manchester, receives the Laureate in Physical Sciences & Engineering for pioneering novel membranes based on two-dimensional materials, facilitating energy-efficient separation and filtration technologies.
  • Malik, an award finalist, is recognized for advancing quantum communications through groundbreaking techniques utilizing high-dimensional entanglement.
  • Tanmay Bharat, from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, is acknowledged for his work in electron cryotomography, creating atomic-level images of cell-surface molecules produced by microscopic bacteria and archaea.

India’s Position in Changi Airport’s Passenger Markets:

  • India secured the fifth position among the top passenger markets for Singapore’s Changi Airport, which handled 328,000 flights and 58.9 million passengers in 2023, rebounding to 83% of pre-Covid-19 traffic levels.
  • Indonesia led the airport’s passenger market in 2023, followed by Malaysia, Australia, Thailand, and India, as per data from the Changi Airport Group (CAG).
  • India was the sixth travel traffic generator for the airport in 2019, registering 68.3 million passenger movements before the pandemic.
  • The 2023 traffic marked an 83% increase from the 32.2 million passengers in 2022, with December emerging as the busiest month, witnessing 5.8 million passengers, equivalent to 91% of December 2019 traffic levels.
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