Current Affairs Daily Digest – February 19 2024

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Current Affairs Daily Digest – February 19 2024

1. Indian Navy’s biggest military exercise ‘MILAN’ begins in Vishakapatnam

The 12th edition of the MILAN exercise is scheduled to take place from today to the 27th of this month in Visakhapatnam, with the participation of more than 50 nations.

Themed “Forging Naval Alliances for a Secure Maritime Future,” the exercise aims to strengthen collaboration among participating navies.

One Maritime Patrol Aircraft and 15 ships from friendly foreign countries, nearly 20 ships from the Indian Navy will participate in the sea exercise. Nearly 50 aircraft including MiG 29K and P8I, aircraft carriers Vikrant and Vikramaditya will participate in the exercise.

2. India wins gold at the 2024 Badminton Asia Team Championships

On 18 February 2024, the Indian women’s badminton team won a historic gold medal at the Badminton Asia Team Championships in Shah Alam, Malaysia.

This was India’s first-ever title at the continental competition, with the men’s team having previously won two bronze medals in 2016 and 2020. The Indian women beat Thailand 3-2 in a thrilling final, which was held in Shah Alam, Malaysia.

PV Sindhu gives India a flying start

The tie started with world No. 11 PV Sindhu taking on 17th-ranked Supanida Katethong. The Indian badminton ace made quick work of her Thai opponent, winning 21-12, 21-12 in just 39 minutes to give India a 1-0 lead. It was Sindhu’s fifth win against Katethong in eight meetings.

3. Karnataka Leads in EV Infrastructure Development

Based on data from the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Karnataka now has more public charging stations than any other Indian state, making it the leader in electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure development.

With the most public charging facilities for electric vehicles, Karnataka is the best: Important Things
When it comes to public EV charging stations, Karnataka is in first place with 5,059, more than both Maharashtra and Delhi combined.

When looking at the stations by state, Delhi has 1,886 and Maharashtra has 3,079 stations. Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala also have substantial populations.

With 7.45 lakh vehicles, Uttar Pradesh is the state with the highest number of electric vehicles, followed by Karnataka and Maharashtra.

When broken down by district, the 4,281 charging stations in the Bengaluru Urban district put it in first place, accounting for 85 percent of Karnataka’s total.

In the years between 2020 and 2023, there was a dramatic increase in the number of electric vehicle registrations, and Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company Limited (Bescom) was instrumental in this trend.

The funding for the charging stations came from a variety of places, such as the state transport department, Bescom, and the Union government’s FAME project.

Future Plans: The EV Policy 2023–28 in Karnataka is designed to entice investors and generate employment opportunities. As part of this policy, additional charging places, including fast charging stations at toll plazas, will be set up.

Phase one of Bascom’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model station installation will concentrate on strategically important districts.

Kempegowda International Airport, home to Bescom’s largest EV charging hub, which will have rooftop solar charging for twenty-four EVs, is almost finished construction.

4. Henley Passport Index 2024: France Tops List; India At 85th

The Henley Passport Index, which delves into global mobility and soft power, has released its 2024 edition. An important indicator of the worldwide mobility and soft power environment, this index ranks countries according to the strength of their passports.

Country France Takes the Lead

The Henley Passport Index ranks France as the top passport, allowing citizens visa-free entry to 194 countries.

Citizens enjoy a great deal of freedom of movement, which is a reflection of France’s robust diplomatic contacts and worldwide influence.
The Dominance of Europe

Showcasing the regional power of the European Union, France is joined at the top by other European nations including Germany, Italy, and Spain.

Highlights the member states’ combined diplomatic clout and the convenience of traveling throughout the EU.

The Fall and Rise of India

Despite a rise in the number of countries to which Indian residents are not required to get a visa, the country falls one spot to 85th place.

Indicates that other nations may have implemented more progressive visa policies or diplomatic ties, which would affect India’s standing relative to them.

5. Pradeep Kumar Sinha Appointed as Non-Executive Part-time Chairman of ICICI Bank

The latest board meeting of ICICI Bank revealed that Mr. Pradeep Kumar Sinha has been appointed as the Non-Executive Part-time Chairman. The present Chairman, Mr. G. C. Chaturvedi, will be retiring on June 30, 2024, and this decision follows his retirement.

Rescheduled Visit to ICICI Bank

Subject to shareholder approval, I am thus appointed to serve as an Additional (Independent) Director for a term of five years, starting immediately.

He will succeed Mr. G. C. Chaturvedi as the Non-Executive Part-time Chairman starting July 1, 2024, or when RBI gives the go-ahead.

Will assume the position left by Mr. Chaturvedi’s retirement and continue in this role until February 16, 2029.


Mr. Pradeep Kumar Sinha has been a distinguished member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) for more than 40 years.

He has an M. Phil in Social Sciences and a Master of Science in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics.

He has been in several important roles throughout his career, the most recent of which was for more than four years as India’s highest-ranking civil servant, the Cabinet Secretary.

He has worked in several federal ministries, most notably those dealing with energy and petroleum.

6. Odisha Govt Introduces ‘Swayam’ Scheme For Youth Empowerment

The ‘Swayam’ plan, which offers interest-free loans to young entrepreneurs, is a major step towards empowering the youth of Odisha.

Agriculture Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain of Odisha announced this program to show how serious the state is about encouraging self-employment and boosting the economy.

Helping Young People Achieve Financial Independence: The ‘Swayam’ program provides interest-free loans of up to Rs 1 lakh to young people in rural and urban areas who are between the ages of 18 and 35.

The goal of this financial assistance is to spur entrepreneurship and the creation of jobs all throughout the state by making it easier for enterprises to start up or grow.

Support for Economic Inclusion by the State Government:

After the cabinet meeting, Minister Swain spoke about Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s plan to help young people in both urban and rural areas by giving them more opportunities to succeed financially.

The government’s decision to provide interest-free loans shows that it understands and is committed to helping small-scale companies with their financial issues.

7. World Pangolin Day 2024 Observed On February 17th

To mark the occasion of World Pangolin Day on February 17, 2024, the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department and environmentalists have joined forces to initiate a public education campaign.

One of the most trafficked mammals in the world, the Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) is in dire need of conservation efforts. This project brings attention to the condition of this animal, which is also called the Thick-Tailed pangolin or the Scaly Anteater.

Indian Pangolins: A Tragic Tale

The illegal wildlife trade poses a significant threat to the Indian pangolin, a native of the Indian Subcontinent.

Species is designated as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List, despite being protected under Schedule-I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and Appendix-I of CITES, which prohibits commerce in pangolin components.

The important role of pangolins in regulating insect populations is highlighted by Chiranjiv Choudhary, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and Head of Forest Force (HoFF), who eats ants and termites. This helps to preserve ecological equilibrium.

8. UP Leads In Vehicle Sales Oct-Dec 2023; Maharashtra Follows: SIAM Report

Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data for October–December 2023 shows interesting developments in India’s ever-changing car sector. During this period, automobile sales in Uttar Pradesh are significantly higher than in Maharashtra.

  • Uttar Pradesh: A Frontrunner in Every Sector
  • Overall, 8,22,472 units were sold in different categories.
  • Number one seller of three-wheelers, with 23,859 units sold.
  • Has 6,73,962 units sold, making it the market leader in two-wheelers.
  • Presenting Maharashtra: A Powerful Rival
  • Manages to sell 6,88,192 units, slipping into second place.
  • With 1,21,030 units sold, it leads the passenger vehicle market.
  • Tamil Nadu and Gujarat: Important Figures
  • There were 4,21,026 units sold in Gujarat.
  • With 4,19,189 units sold, Tamil Nadu is just behind.
  • Distinct Regional Preferences for Vehicles
  • The states of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh are the two-wheeler market leaders.
  • Not to mention the substantial contributions from Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
  • Sales of passenger vehicles are led by Maharashtra, with Gujarat and Karnataka following closely behind.



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