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Current Affairs for 26 March 2024

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Bima Sugam: Simplifying Insurance with an Online

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has given the green light to Bima Sugam, an online insurance marketplace designed to streamline the process of purchasing, selling, and managing insurance policies, including claims settlement. Bima Sugam operates as an e-commerce platform where insurance companies can showcase their products, offering customers a seamless digital experience. This platform eliminates paperwork by delivering policies electronically and allows users to access all their insurance policies—life, health, and non-life—in one convenient application or window. One of the key benefits of Bima Sugam is its potential to make insurance policies more affordable. By reducing commissions paid to intermediaries, it could lead to lower premiums for policyholders. Moreover, it provides a unified platform for policy issuance, claim settlement, and service requests, promoting transparency and cooperation in the insurance sector.


IRDAI, headquartered in Hyderabad and established in 1999, protects the interests of insurance customers as a statutory body under the IRDA Act 1999. It operates under the Ministry of Finance, overseeing and nurturing the insurance industry according to the IRDAI Act, 1999, and the Insurance Act, 1938. Unified Payments Interface as a Third-Party Application Provider Recently, the National Payments Corporation of India authorized Paytm-owner One97 Communications Ltd to operate as a Third-Party Application Provider (TPAP) under the multi-bank model of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, State Bank of India, and YES Bank will function as Payment System Provider (PSP) banks for Paytm. Previously, Paytm operated through its own payments bank license but faced regulatory challenges, leading to restrictions imposed by RBI. TPAPs like Paytm facilitate UPI payments by connecting customers and merchants through their platforms. They play a crucial role in ensuring smooth transactions within the UPI ecosystem, handling numerous transactions daily.

Financing Agrochemical Reduction and Management Programme (FARM)

Ecuador, India, Kenya, Laos, Philippines, Uruguay, and Vietnam have jointly initiated the Financing Agrochemical Reduction and Management Programme (FARM) to tackle pollution from pesticides and plastics in agriculture. FARM, led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) with support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), aims to incentivize farmers to adopt sustainable practices by shifting financial incentives. This program targets the reduction of hazardous pesticides and Agri-plastics, aiming to prevent environmental pollution and protect agricultural lands.

Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform

India, representing the G4 nations, has proposed a detailed model for United Nations Security Council Reform during the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform. The G4 nations—Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan—advocate for increasing the Security Council's membership to 25-26 members, including new permanent members elected democratically by the UN General Assembly. The proposed model also offers flexibility on the veto issue, aiming to enhance the Council's legitimacy and effectiveness.

Global E-waste Monitor 2024

UNITAR released the Global E-waste Monitor 2024, highlighting a significant increase in global e-waste generation and the challenges of inadequate e-waste management infrastructure. The report notes a rise in global e-waste from 34 billion kg in 2010 to 62 billion kg in 2022, projected to reach 82 billion kg by 2030. However, only a fraction of this e-waste is formally collected and recycled, posing environmental and health hazards due to improper disposal practices.

Vote-from-Home Facility by ECI

For the first time in Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has extended the 'vote-from-home' facility to Persons with Disabilities (PwD) and senior citizens aged 85 and above. Eligible individuals can utilize Form 12D to inform the Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) about their inability to visit polling stations. The process involves online form submission or collection from the parliamentary constituency office, followed by home visits for the postal ballot voting process.


The Technology Development Board (TDB) has sanctioned a grant of ₹75 Lakhs towards the project "ANAGRANINF," focusing on developing novel antibiotics against gram-negative bacterial infections. The project aims to combat critical gram-negative pathogens by targeting the FabI enzyme, addressing the challenges posed by drug-resistant bacteria.

World Tuberculosis (TB) Day 2024

World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, observed annually on March 24, raises awareness about TB, its impact, and efforts to eradicate the disease globally. The theme for World TB Day 2024 is "Yes! We can end TB," highlighting the collective efforts required to eliminate TB and support affected individuals.

Arsenic Study

A recent study emphasizes the risks associated with cooking rice using water contaminated with arsenic, a naturally occurring toxic element prevalent in certain regions, including parts of India.

Electoral Trusts

The scrutiny of corporate contributors to political parties via electoral bonds is ongoing, focusing on transparency in political funding facilitated by electoral trusts.

Right Whales Study

A study reveals the detrimental impact of fishing gear entanglement on female right whale's breeding potential, highlighting conservation challenges faced by these endangered species.