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Current Affairs 27th January 2024 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Free Movement Regime (FMR)

Context: Recently, Home Minister Amit Shah had said that the border of India- Myanmar will be fenced and FMR be reconsidered to stop border residents from moving into each other’s country without any paperwork.

Why Is FMR Being Reconsidered?

  • Security Challenges: For decades, security forces have been combating extremist groups conducting hit-and-run operations from bases in the Chin and Sagaing regions of Myanmar.
  • Cross-border Issues: The porous border has historically facilitated illegal trafficking, including drugs coming into India and wildlife parts being smuggled out.
  • Trigger for Policy Reevaluation: The reconsideration of the Free Movement Regime (FMR) was prompted by ethnic clashes between the Meitei and Kuki-Zo communities in Manipur.
  • Manipur Government’s Concerns: Over the past decade, there have been worries about the “influx” of Myanmar nationals (often referring to Kuki-Chins) and calls for a National Register of Citizens similar to Assam’s to identify “illegal immigrants”.

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Coal Gasification

Context: The government said it has approved an outlay of ₹8,500 crore as financial aid for the promotion of coal/lignite gasification projects.

About Coal Gasification

  • Definition: Coal gasification involves partially oxidising coal using air, oxygen, steam, or carbon dioxide to produce a fuel gas.
  • Applications: This gas serves as an alternative to natural gas, methane, etc., for energy production.
  • Underground Coal Gasification (UCG): This method converts coal into gas while it remains in the seam, extracting it through wells.

Syngas Production

  • Composition: Syngas, the product of coal gasification, consists mainly of methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2), and water vapour (H2O).
  • Uses: Syngas are versatile, and used in producing fertilizers, fuels, solvents, and synthetic materials.


  • Cost Reduction for Steel Companies: By using syngas from coal gasification, steel manufacturers can lower costs by substituting expensive imported coking coal.
  • Utility: Coal gasification is pivotal in electricity generation and producing chemical feedstocks.
  • Hydrogen Production: The process yields hydrogen, which is essential for making ammonia and fueling a potential hydrogen economy.


  • Energy Quality Degradation: The process downgrades high-quality energy (coal) to a lower-quality form (gas), consuming substantial energy and resulting in lower conversion efficiency.

Gold Production

Context: More than 70 people have been killed after a tunnel collapsed at a Malian gold mining site.

Top Five Countries In Gold Production

  1. China
  2. Russia
  3. Australia
  4. Canada
  5. United States

Gold Production In India

Gold is commonly found in rocks containing gold, known as auriferous rocks. It can also be discovered in the sands of various rivers. Additionally, gold is recognized as a form of international currency.


Primary metal ore reserves are distributed as follows:

  • Bihar holds 45% of the reserves,
  • Rajasthan contains 23%,
  • Karnataka has 22%,
  • West Bengal possesses 3%,
  • Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh each have 2%.



  • Leading Gold Producer: Karnataka stands as the top gold-producing state in India.
  • Mine Locations: Gold mining occurs in Kolar (Kolar Gold Fields), Dharwad, Hassan, and Raichur (Hutti Gold Fields) districts.

Andhra Pradesh

  • Second Leading Producer: Andhra Pradesh ranks as the second-largest gold producer in the country.
  • Key Mining Area: The Ramagiri area in the Anantapur district is significant for gold mining.
  • Gold Deposits: The state is known for its alluvial gold found in silt and placer deposits across numerous rivers.


  • Alluvial Gold Sources: The Subarnarekha River’s sands contain traces of alluvial gold.
  • Notable Locations: Sona nadi in the Singhbhum district and the Sonapat valley are key sites for alluvial gold mining.


  • Gold in River Terraces: Alluvial gold is found along the river terraces of the Punna Puzha and the Chabiyar Puzha.

National Voters’ Day

Context: The Election Commission of India celebrated the 14th National Voters’ Day (NVD) on 25th January 2024. The theme for this year NVD was ‘Nothing Like Voting, I Vote For sure’.

About National Voters’ Day

  • Annual Observance: National Voters’ Day has been observed every year on January 25th since 2011, throughout India, to celebrate the establishment of the Election Commission of India on this date in 1950.
  • Purpose of NVD: The key aim of National Voters’ Day is to spread electoral awareness and motivate citizens to participate actively in the electoral process.
  • Focus on Voters: The day is dedicated to the voters of the country, emphasizing the importance of their role in the democratic process.
  • Voter Enrollment: A major focus of National Voters’ Day is on the enrollment of new voters, particularly young voters who have recently become eligible to vote.
  • Recognition of New Voters: During National Voters’ Day events held nationwide, new voters are honoured and receive their Elector Photo Identity Card (EPIC).

Govt. permits direct listing on GIFT-IFSC’s global exchanges

Context: Recently, the government of India allowed direct listing of government securities by public Indian companies on the International Financial Services Centre (GIFT-IFSC) and made the requisite provisions to provide “an overarching regulatory framework” to facilitate it.


  • Operation: The operational phase of GIFT IFSC commenced in April 2015 following the Reserve Bank of India’s issuance of a licence for it to function as an International Financial Services Centre within the GIFT City.
  • Purpose of GIFT IFSC: The Gujarat International Finance Tec-City International Financial Services Centre (GIFT IFSC) was established to function as a global financial hub, facilitating major international financial services such as banking, insurance, capital markets, and asset management, in addition to offering top-tier infrastructure.
  • Government Collaboration: The creation of GIFT IFSC was initiated by the Gujarat Government with backing from the Government of India.
  • Headquarter: Gandhinagar, Gujarat
  • Significance: GIFT IFSC holds the distinction of being India’s first International Financial Services Centre.
  • Regulation: The regulation of GIFT IFSC is overseen by a specialised regulator established by the government, known as the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA).
    • Comprehensive Oversight: Financial products and services within the GIFT IFSC fall under the regulatory purview of major Indian financial regulatory bodies, including the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), and Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
  • Key Activities:
    • Capital Markets Expansion: GIFT IFSC is home to India International Exchange Ltd (India INX), which is India’s inaugural International Stock Exchange.
      • India INX caters to the investment needs of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and global investors with services like equity trading.
    • Offshore Banking Services: The centre facilitates offshore banking operations, providing services such as corporate banking, support for External Commercial Borrowings, factoring, and assistance to Indian joint ventures abroad.
    • Insurance Offerings: GIFT IFSC hosts various insurance services, including general, life, and reinsurance products, with several global insurance companies establishing their operations within the centre.
    • Asset Management Hub: The centre has become a focal point for asset management, accommodating Alternative Investment Funds and Mutual Funds among its service providers.
    • Provision of Ancillary Services: GIFT IFSC also supports a range of ancillary services integral to international finance, encompassing legal, accounting, and research and development services.

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