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19 February 2024 - Daily Current Affairs

Quote of the day: -

Prelims Specific News Items

1. Gulzar, Sanskrit scholar Rambhadracharya selected for 58th Jnanpith Award

Renowned Urdu poet Gulzar and Sanskrit scholar Jagadguru Rambhadracharya will receive the 58th Jnanpith Award. Gulzar is known for his works in Hindi cinema and is considered one of the finest Urdu poets of this era.

Jagadguru Rambhadracharya is the founder and chief of Tulsi Peeth in Chitrakoot, and is a renowned Hindu spiritual leader, educator and writer of more than 240 books and texts. The recipients for the award were decided by a selection committee chaired by Jnanpith awardee Pratibha Rai. It is the highest literary award in India and is given annually for the best creative literary writing to writers in any of the 22 “scheduled languages” recognized in the Indian Constitution. 

  • It is sponsored by the cultural organization Bharatiya Jnanpith.

  • It was instituted in 1961, and the first award was given in 1965. 

  • The prize carries a cash award, a citation, and a bronze replica of Vagdevi (Saraswati), the goddess of learning. 

2. IAF - Exercise VAYU SHAKTI

Indian Air Force demonstration exercise Vayu-Shakti 2024 was held on Saturday evening at the Pokhran Range near Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. The exercise showcased the IAF’s offensive and defensive capabilities across the day and night.

The HAL Prachand is an Indian multi-role light attack helicopter designed and manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under Project LCH. It has been ordered by the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army. Its flight ceiling is the highest among all attack helicopters.

3. Ukrainian city of Avdiivka

Russia has claimed that it has taken full control of the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka after Kyiv withdrew its troops from the city.

4. Nigeria Inflation

Nigeria's annual inflation rate climbed further to a near 28-year high of 29.9% in January 2024, up from 28.9% in December and above market forecasts of 29.5%. Food inflation, which accounts for the bulk of Nigeria's inflation basket, quickened again to 35.4% in January from 33.9% a month earlier.

Impact of Inflation: -

i. Currency Devaluation

ii. Basic necessities expensive


Meet Sora - OpenAI's new text-to-video generator. The tool, which the San Francisco company unveiled Thursday, uses generative artificial intelligence to instantly create short videos based on written commands.

Sora isn't the first to demonstrate this kind of technology. But industry analysts point to the high quality of the tool's videos displayed so far, and note that its introduction marks a significant leap for both OpenAI and the future of text-to-video generation overall.


i. Misplaced priorities: On the scrapping of the Free Movement Regime between India and Myanmar

What has happened: -

Home Minister Amit Shah announced that the “Free Movement Regime” (FMR) in place in Indian States bordering Myanmar from 2018 would be scrapped and that the India-Myanmar border be fenced.

Reasons for this: -

The ostensible reason for this demand and the need for fencing is because the porous border has served as a conduit for narcotics, besides helping insurgent groups in the north-east to establish bases within areas in Myanmar where the junta’s writ is relatively non-existent or weak.

Ethnic Angle involved: -

The Mizos of Mizoram and the Kuki-Zo community in Manipur feel a kinship with the Chin community of Myanmar and have been organising relief for the refugees. The opposition to the FMR has come from Meitei majoritarian forces in the Imphal valley who have raised the bogey of Chin refugees entering Manipur as a case of illegal migration.

Overall importance of FMR: -

The institution of the FMR, as a formalized regime of the movement of citizens across the sparsely populated border to within 16 kilometers of it, for trade and commerce, was a nod to India’s Act East policy. This was also an expression of the will of people of the region who share ethnic relations but are divided by colonially drawn boundaries.

ii. Ties across the sea: On the India-UAE close relationship

The 11th edition of the World Government Summit (WGS) took place in Dubai. The summit, themed “Shaping Future Governments,” aimed to anticipate future opportunities and challenges while addressing pressing global issues.

  • India and the UAE concluded the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2022 and a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). This makes the UAE the only country that India has both a trade and an investment agreement with. BAPS Hindu Temple in UAE is magnificient.

  • The UAE is now India’s third largest trading partner, India’s second largest export destination, and fourth largest source of FDI. The inauguration of the Bharat Mart for Indian MSMEs is also expected to strengthen trade ties.

  • Third, the Agreement for an Intergovernmental Framework on the India-Middle East Economic Corridor, that also coordinate over the I2U2 initiative with the U.S. and Israel, and, from 2024, will cooperate within the BRICS framework, as the UAE is now a member.

  • Finally, the discussions on the Israel-Gaza operations and the Red Sea attacks, indicate that in a region roiled by conflict, India considers the UAE to be a stable interlocutor.

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