Friday, May 24, 2024
Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 10th May, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 10 May 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

UAE-India CEPA Council and Indian Chamber of Commerce join hands to enhance bilateral relations

UAE-India CEPA Council and Indian Chamber of Commerce join hands to enhance bilateral relations

  • The UAE-India CEPA Council (UICC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), commencing a strategic partnership to bolster economic and trade ties between the UAE and India.
  • In alignment with their respective mandates, the UICC and the ICC will synergize efforts, resources, and ideas, and collaborate on increasing awareness within the UAE and India of the significant potential of the UAE-India bilateral economic partnership.
  • The MoU will help establish a broad-based partnership between the participants, focused on the public promotion of the UAE-India bilateral economic partnership and the UAE-India CEPA in particular.

IGMCRI launches palliative care clinic in Puducherry

IGMCRI launches palliative care clinic in Puducherry

  • The Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute (IGMCRI) has launched a palliative care clinic to absorb a part of the burgeoning demand for pain relief in patients in an advanced stage of a variety of debilitating medical conditions.
  • The clinic, run by IGMCRI physicians who have undergone specialised training in palliative management at the Institute of Palliative Medicine (IPM) in Kozhikode, Kerala, will shortly begin offering outpatient services to cater to chronically ill patients referred from other institutions.
  • The IPM, a World Health Organisation (WHO)-collaborating centre for community participation in palliative and long-term care, and Sanjeevan, under the Sri Aurobindo Society, are the IGMCRI’s partners for the palliative facility.
  • According to the plan, the clinic will be operated twice a week in the afternoons. While the sessions on Tuesdays will evaluate patients for the type of pain and determine an intervention plan, palliative care will administered on Fridays

Indian Air Force conducts Bambi Bucket Operations to Combat Forest Fires in Uttarakhand

Indian Air Force conducts Bambi Bucket Operations to Combat Forest Fires in Uttarakhand

  • Despite the Uttarakhand government’s submission to the Supreme Court that the emergency situation regarding forest fires is now over, the State Forest department reported 40 fresh cases of fire. This contradictory situation highlights the ongoing challenges faced in controlling the raging wildfires in the region.
  • The Indian Air Force recently utilized its Mi-17 V5 helicopter equipped with a Bambi Bucket to combat forest fires near Nainital, showcasing the versatility and effectiveness of aerial firefighting operations in challenging terrains.
  • The Bambi Bucket, introduced in 1983 and invented by Canadian Don Arney, revolutionized aerial firefighting by enabling helicopters to transport large volumes of water beneath the aircraft, offering a swift and efficient means of extinguishing wildfires from the air.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

India contributes $5,00,000 to U.N. Counter-Terrorism Trust Fund

India contributes $5,00,000 to U.N. Counter-Terrorism Trust Fund

  • India has contributed $500,000 to the U.N. Counter-Terrorism Trust Fund, underscoring its unwavering commitment to support multilateral efforts in the global fight against the scourge of terrorism.
  • India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj handed over to Under Secretary General, United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) Vladimir Voronkov the country’s voluntary financial contribution of half a million dollars towards the U.N. Counter-Terrorism Trust Fund (CTTF).
  • India places great significance on the mandate and the work undertaken by the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism in building the capacity of member states to effectively deal with the threat of terrorism. 


BANKING & FINANCE

South Indian Bank Forms Alliance with Northern Arc Capital

South Indian Bank Forms Alliance with Northern Arc Capital

  • South Indian Bank has entered into an alliance with Northern Arc Capital. This association has been formalized through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) underscoring the commitment of both institutions to a mutually beneficial partnership.
  • The partnership is aimed at exploring and maximizing business opportunities through combined efforts in the areas of loan origination, underwriting, disbursement, collection, and reconciliation processes.
  • The partnership will enable South Indian Bank to leverage nPOS, Northern Arc’s proprietary technology platform for co-origination, co-lending and pool buyouts, and to seamlessly connect with multiple originators for loan origination, underwriting, disbursement, and reconciliation abilities. 

NPCI issues guidelines for merchant acquisition on BHIM Aadhar Pay

NPCI issues guidelines for merchant acquisition on BHIM Aadhar Pay

  • The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), in a circular, has issued guidelines that put the onus of verifying merchant details on acquiring banks for BHIM Aadhaar Pay.  
  • “The obligation to acquire, manage, and monitor merchants for BHIM Aadhaar Pay rests with acquiring member banks. Acquiring member banks shall continue to be responsible for merchants onboarded by them directly or through aggregators/partners,” said NPCI in the circular.
  • BHIM Aadhaar Pay enables merchants to receive digital payments from customers over the counter through Aadhaar Authentication, according to the NPCI website. The NPCI issued these guidelines to an acquiring member bank’s key responsibilities and accountabilities when managing merchants.
  • It has advised members to assign appropriate Merchant Category Code (MCC) while taking on board merchants. They are required to ensure that cash withdrawal transactions are not allowed on the BAP service’s merchants and banks have oversight on such merchants. 

Yes Bank partners Ebanx to facilitate cross-border e-commerce for customers

Yes Bank partners Ebanx to facilitate cross-border e-commerce for customers

  • Yes Bank has partnered with Ebanx – a fintech focused on cross-border e-commerce payments to enable payments from India.
  • The partnership aims to make it easier for global merchants to sell to customers in India and make cross-border shopping easier for Indians.
  • The partnership will offer a range of local payment methods tailored to the Indian market, including UPI, locally issued cards, and recurring payment transactions. 
  • The announcement coincides with EBANX’s efforts to strengthen its position in India, aiming to tap into the country’s significant online shopping market.

ICICI Bank enables NRI customers to use international mobile number to make UPI payments in India

ICICI Bank enables NRI customers to use international mobile number to make UPI payments in India

  • ICICI Bank announced that it has enabled NRI customers to use their international mobile number to make UPI payments instantly in India, thereby significantly enhancing their convenience of making everyday payments. 
  • With this facility, the NRI customers of the Bank can make payments for their utility bills, merchant and e-commerce transactions with their international mobile number registered with their NRE / NRO bank account held with ICICI Bank in India. 
  • The Bank has made this service available through its mobile banking app, iMobile Pay. Earlier, NRIs had to register an Indian mobile number with their banks to make UPI payments.
  • To bring forth this facility, ICICI Bank has leveraged on the international infrastructure laid down by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for convenient usage of UPI across countries. The Bank offers this facility across 10 countries namely USA, UK, UAE, Canada, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

P-note investments surge to near 6-year high to `1.5 lakh cr

P-note investments surge to near 6-year high to `1.5 lakh cr

  • Investments through participatory notes (P-notes) in the Indian capital markets reached Rs 1.5 lakh crore at the end of February, making it the highest-level in nearly six years, driven by a strong performance of the domestic economy.
  • The latest data includes the value of P-note investments in Indian equity, debt, and hybrid securities.
  • According to the latest data from markets regulator Sebi, the value of P-note investments in Indian markets equity, debt, and hybrid securities stood at Rs 1,49,517 crore at the end of February compared to Rs 1,43,011 crore at the end of January.
  • The P-notes are issued by registered foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) to overseas investors who wish to be part of the Indian stock market without registering themselves directly. They, however, need to go through a due diligence process. 

L&T Finance launches ‘The Complete Home Loan’

L&T Finance launches ‘The Complete Home Loan’

  • L&T Finance Ltd (LTF) has launched ‘The Complete Home Loan’, offered through a digitised process, along with a dedicated relationship manager and optional home décor finance.
  • The home loan product also comes with an option to allow customers to seek a home décor loan if they meet certain requirements, such as a construction-complete property. 
  • Using this option, customers will be able to avail a separate consumer loan for home décor of up to 15% of the total home loan amount approved, capped at a maximum of Rs 75 lakh. 
  • As part of the home loan product, the disbursement ranges from a minimum of Rs 30 lakh to a maximum of Rs 7 crore. 

Google launches wallet app in India for Android users, but without payment features

Google launches wallet app in India for Android users, but without payment features

  • Tech giant Google announced the launch of the Google Wallet app in India, enabling users to save their travel tickets, gift cards and event passes in one place. It however does not support payment features such as saving credit cards or debit cards in the wallet for on-tap payments.
  • This Wallet app offers fast and secure access to everyday essentials, enabling people to conveniently store and retrieve important digital documents like boarding passes, loyalty cards, movie tickets, and more. Google Wallet complements Google Pay, which will continue to serve the payments needs of users across India.
  • Google has partnered with 20 of India’s top brands to enable the Google Wallet experience, including PVR & INOX, Air India, Indigo, Flipkart, Pine Labs, Kochi Metro, Abhibus and many others, with more partners to be added in the months to follow. 


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Bajaj to launch India’s First CNG Motorcycle on 18th June

Bajaj to launch India's First CNG Motorcycle on 18th June

  • India’s two- and three-wheeler major Bajaj Auto is set to launch the world’s first compressed natural gas (CNG) motorcycle on June 18, 2024, as revealed by the company’s Managing Director, Rajiv Bajaj. 
  • According to Bajaj, the new CNG motorcycle will be a game-changer, offering customers a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly alternative to petrol motorcycles. The fuel halves the operational cost of vehicles, and is hence a lure for customers, Bajaj had mentioned earlier.
  • Bajaj revealed that the company will start with an initial capacity of 20,000 CNG motorcycles. This cautious approach is due to the polarised response the company has received so far.

India’s retail market to surpass $2.2 trillion by 2030, 90% sales to be offline: Report

India’s retail market to surpass $2.2 trillion by 2030, 90% sales to be offline: Report

  • India’s retail market is poised to cross $2.2 trillion by 2030, with approximately 90% of sales expected to occur offline, according to the report by Accel, Fireside Ventures and Redseer Strategy Consultants. The report also finds that a substantial portion of all purchases are to be influenced by what consumers see online across categories.
  • The report titled ‘The Decoding Omnichannel: Strategies for D2C Brands’ that Indians conducted nearly 24 billion online searches in different categories annually to learn more about a product before purchase, while 60% of the total value concentrated in food and grocery, followed by fashion and lifestyle.
  • The report stated that consumers are moving across various channels at different stages of the purchase funnel. They are increasingly searching across categories before making a purchase online, and brands must be where their customers are. For instance, in sectors like jewellery, customers browse online, but ultimately make their purchases offline, in stores, after accurately assessing factors like fit and style in person.

India’s toy exports slip to $152.34 mn in 2023-24; need strategy to push it: GTRI

India's toy exports slip to $152.34 mn in 2023-24;

  • India’s toy exports declined marginally to USD 152.34 million in 2023-24 from USD 153.89 million in the previous financial year, according to a report by economic think tank GTRI. The Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI) said that India’s toy exports did not benefit much from the mandatory quality control orders.
  • It said that while the domestic measures were primarily aimed at boosting local industry and ensuring safety, they did not significantly enhance India’s toy exports.
  • From FY’2020 to FY’2022, exports increased modestly from USD 129.6 million to USD 177million. However, by FY’2024, exports decreased to USD 152.3 million, the report said.
  • The report recommended setting up specialized toy manufacturing hubs to reduce costs and increase efficiency; modernising traditional Indian toys while preserving their cultural value to create unique products.

India surpassed Japan to become 3rd largest solar power generator in 2023

India surpassed Japan to become 3rd largest solar power generator in 2023

  • India has overtaken Japan to become the world’s third-largest solar power generator in 2023, according to a report by the global energy think tank, Ember.
  • The Global Electricity Review 2024, released, offers a detailed analysis of power generation systems worldwide in 2023. It was published alongside the world’s first open dataset on electricity generation in 2023, covering 80 countries representing 92% of global electricity demand. 
  • The report shows that solar power’s share in global electricity production surged to a record 5.5 percent in 2023. India witnessed the world’s fourth-largest increase in solar generation in 2023 (+18 Terawatt hours or TWh), following China (+156 TWh), the United States (+33 TWh), and Brazil (+22 TWh). Together, these top four solar growth countries accounted for 75 percent of the overall growth in 2023.
  • From ranking ninth in 2015, India has substantially expanded its solar generation capacity. The report indicates that its share of solar power surged from 0.5 percent in 2015 to 5.8 percent in 2023.
  • Globally, solar power generation accelerated sixfold between 2015 and 2023, with India witnessing a seventeen-fold increase in solar generation capacity during the same period.

IREDA incorporates “IREDA Global Green Energy Finance IFSC Limited” in GIFT City, Gujarat

IREDA incorporates "IREDA Global Green Energy Finance IFSC Limited” in GIFT City, Gujarat

  • Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) has incorporated a wholly owned subsidiary in the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) located in GIFT City, Gujarat. 
  • IREDA Global Green Energy Finance IFSC Limited was officially incorporated, after receiving the no objection letter from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in February 2024, to set up the finance company in IFSC GIFT City, IREDA said.
  • Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA), under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), is a Non-Banking Financial Institution engaged in promoting, developing and extending financial assistance for setting up projects relating to new and renewable sources of energy and energy efficiency/conservation. 


APPOINTMENTS

Zee Media Corporation terminates CEO Abhay Ojha

Zee Media Corporation terminates CEO Abhay Ojha

  • Zee Media Corporation Ltd said its CEO Abhay Ojha has been terminated with effect from May 4, 2024. 
  • In a regulatory filing, the company said its Board of Directors at their meeting held has approved and confirmed the cessation of employment of Ojha from the organisation and his consequent cessation as the Chief Executive Officer of the company with effect from May 4, 2024.
  • Ojha was promoted as CEO of the company last year. He had joined Zee Media in 2022 as Chief Business Officer and P&L head of linear channels, excluding WION and Zee Business.
  • Earlier last month, Piyush Choudhary, who was Chief Manager – Legal, of Zee Media had resigned effective from the close of business hours of April 30, 2024.

Visa Announces Sujai Raina as New Country Manager for India

Visa Announces Sujai Raina as New Country Manager for India

  • Visa recently announced a leadership change in India, underscoring its dedication to the country’s booming digital payments landscape. Sujai Raina has been named Country Manager for India, effective immediately. 
  • In his new role, Raina will spearhead Visa’s growth strategy in India. He will be responsible for forging strategic partnerships, leading business development efforts, and overseeing the overall performance of Visa’s Indian operations. 
  • Sandeep Ghosh will retain his position as Group Country Manager for India and South Asia, ensuring a smooth transition and continued collaboration. Ghosh will continue to oversee Visa’s operations across the subcontinent, including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives. 


AWARDS

President of India presents 2 Padma Vibhushan, 9 Padma Bhushan and 56 Padma Shri Awards for the year 2024

President of India presents 2 Padma Vibhushan, 9 Padma Bhushan and 56 Padma Shri Awards for the year 2024

  • The President of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu presented 2 Padma Vibhushan, 9 Padma Bhushan and 56 Padma Shri Awards for the year 2024 at the Civil Investiture Ceremony-II held with grandeur in Darbar Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhawa. 
  • The Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian honours bestowed by the Indian government in recognition of exceptional achievements in various fields such as arts, literature, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, and sports. 

List of Padma Award Winners 2024

Padma Vibhushan 2024

  1. Vyjayantimala Bali Art
  2. Konidela Chiranjeevi Art
  3. M Venkaiah Naidu Public Affairs
  4. Bindeshwar Pathak (Posthumous) Social Work
  5. Padma Subrahmanyam

Padma Bhushan 2024

  1. M Fathima Beevi (Posthumous) Public Affairs
  2. Hormusji N Cama Literature & Education – Journalism
  3. Mithun Chakraborty Art
  4. Sitaram Jindal Trade & Industry
  5. Young Liu Trade & Industry
  6. Ashwin Balachand Mehta Medicine
  7. Satyabrata Mookherjee (Posthumous) Public Affairs
  8. Ram Naik Public Affairs
  9. Tejas Madhusudan Patel Medicine
  10. Olanchery Rajagopal Public Affairs
  11. Dattatray Ambadas Mayaloo alias Rajdutt Art
  12. Togdan Rinpoche (Posthumous) Others – Spiritualism
  13. Pyarelal Sharma Art
  14. Chandreshwar Prasad Thakur Medicine
  15. Usha Uthup Art
  16. Vijaykanth (Posthumous) Art
  17. Kundan Vyas Literature & Education – Journalism

Padma Shri 2024

  1. Khalil Ahamad Art
  2. Badrappan M Art
  3. Kaluram Bamaniya Art
  4. Rezwana Choudhury Bannya Art
  5. Naseem Bano Art
  6. Ramlal Bareth Art
  7. Gita Roy Barman Art
  8. Parbati Baruah Social Work
  9. Sarbeswar Basumatary Others – Agriculture
  10. Som Datt Battu Art
  11. Takdira Begum Art
  12. Sathyanarayana Beleri Others – Agriculture
  13. Drona Bhuyan Art
  14. Ashok Kumar Biswas Art
  15. Rohan Machanda Bopanna Sports
  16. Smriti Rekha Chakma Art
  17. Narayan Chakraborty Science & Engineering
  18. A Velu Ananda Chari Art
  19. Ram Chet Chaudhary Science & Engineering
  20. K Chellammal Others – Agriculture
  21. Joshna Chinappa Sports
  22. Charlotte Chopin Others – Yoga
  23. Raghuveer Choudhary Literature & Education
  24. Joe D Cruz Literature & Education
  25. Ghulam Nabi Dar Art
  26. Chitta Ranjan Debbarma Others – Spiritualism
  27. Uday Vishwanath Deshpande Sports
  28. Prema Dhanraj Medicine
  29. Radha Krishan Dhiman Medicine
  30. Manohar Krishana Dole Medicine
  31. Pierre Sylvain Filliozat Literature & Education
  32. Mahabir Singh Guddu Art
  33. Anupama Hoskere Art
  34. Yazdi Maneksha Italia Medicine
  35. Rajaram Jain Literature & Education
  36. Jankilal Art
  37. Ratan Kahar Art
  38. Yashwant Singh Kathoch Literature & Education
  39. Zahir I Kazi Literature & Education
  40. Gaurav Khanna Sports
  41. Surendra Kishore Literature & Education – Journalism
  42. Dasari Kondappa Art
  43. Sridhar Makam Krishnamurthy Literature & Education
  44. Yanung Jamoh Lego Others – Agriculture
  45. Jordan Lepcha Art
  46. Satendra Singh Lohia Sports
  47. Binod Maharana Art
  48. Purnima Mahato Sports
  49. Uma Maheshwari D Art
  50. Dukhu Majhi Social Work
  51. Ram Kumar Mallick Art
  52. Hemchand Manjhi Medicine
  53. Chandrashekhar Mahadeorao Meshram Medicine
  54. Surendra Mohan Mishra (Posthumous)
  55. Ali Mohammed & Ghani Mohammed (Duo) Art
  56. Kalpana Morparia Trade & Industry
  57. Chami Murmu Social Work
  58. Sasindran Muthuvel Public Affairs
  59. Ms. G Nachiyar Medicine Tamil Nadu
  60. Ms. Kiran Nadar Art Delhi
  61. Shri Pakaravur Chithran Namboodiripad (Posthumous) Literature & Education Kerala
  62. Shri Narayanan E P Art Kerala
  63. Shri Shailesh Nayak Science & Engineering Delhi
  64. Shri Harish Nayak (Posthumous) Literature & Education
  65. Shri Fred Negrit Literature & Education
  66. Shri Hari Om Science & Engineering
  67. Shri Bhagabat Padhan Art
  68. Shri Sanatan Rudra Pal Art West Bengal
  69. Shri Shankar Baba Pundlikrao Papalkar Social Work
  70. Shri Radhe Shyam Pareek Medicine
  71. Shri Dayal Mavjibhai Parmar Medicine
  72. Shri Binod Kumar Pasayat Art
  73. Ms. Silbi Passah Art
  74. Ms. Shanti Devi Paswan & Shri Shivan Paswan* (Duo) Art
  75. Shri Sanjay Anant Patil Others – Agriculture
  76. Shri Muni Narayana Prasad Literature & Education Kerala
  77. Shri K S Rajanna Social Work Karnataka
  78. Shri Chandrashekar Channapatna Rajannachar Medicine Karnataka
  79. Shri Bhagwatilal Rajpurohit Literature & Education Madhya Pradesh
  80. Shri Romalo Ram Art
  81. Shri Navjivan Rastogi Literature & Education Uttar Pradesh
  82. Ms. Nirmal Rishi Art Punjab
  83. Shri Pran Sabharwal Art Punjab
  84. Shri Gaddam Sammaiah Art Telangana
  85. Shri Sangthankima Social Work Mizoram
  86. Shri Machihan Sasa Art Manipur
  87. Shri Omprakash Sharma Art Madhya Pradesh
  88. Shri Eklabya Sharma Science & Engineering
  89. Shri Ram Chander Sihag Science & Engineering Haryana
  90. Shri Harbinder Singh Sports Delhi
  91. Shri Gurvinder Singh Social Work
  92. Shri Godawari Singh Art
  93. Shri Ravi Prakash Singh Science & Engineering
  94. Shri Seshampatti T Sivalingam Art
  95. Shri Somanna Social Work
  96. Shri Kethavath Somlal Literature & Education
  97. Ms. Shashi Soni Trade & Industry
  98. Ms. Urmila Srivastava Art
  99. Shri Nepal Chandra Sutradhar (Posthumous) Art
  100. Shri Gopinath Swain Art
  101. Shri Laxman Bhatt Tailang Art
  102. Ms. Maya Tandon Social Work
  103. Ms. Aswathi Thirunal Gouri Lakshmi Bayi Thampuratty Literature & Education
  104. Shri Jagdish Labhshanker Trivedi
  105. Ms. Sano Vamuzo Social Work  Art
  106. Shri Balakrishnan Sadanam Puthiya Veetil Art Kerala
  107. Shri Kurella Vittalacharya Literature & Education Telangana
  108. Shri Kiran Vyas Others – Yoga France
  109. Shri Jageshwar Yadav Social Work Chhattisgarh
  110. Shri Babu Ram Yadav Art


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Google DeepMind unveils next generation of drug discovery AI model

Google DeepMind unveils next generation of drug discovery AI model

  • Google Deepmind has unveiled the third major version of its “AlphaFold” artificial intelligence model, designed to help scientists design drugs and target disease more effectively. This artificial intelligence model can predict the structure and interactions of all life’s molecules, including proteins and DNA.
  • The firms said that the new model, AlphaFold 3, built on the foundations of AlphaFold 2 had made a fundamental breakthrough in protein structure prediction in 2020, by predicting the 3D structure of a protein from its amino acid structure.
  • AlphaFold 3 expands beyond proteins to provide accurate predictions for protein interactions with other biomolecules in living cells – such as DNA, RNA, and small molecules.
  • With AlphaFold 3, Google DeepMind claims that it has seen at least a 50 percent improvement compared with existing prediction methods, and more than doubled the prediction accuracy for some key categories of interaction.


ENVIRONMENT

Scientists discover world’s deepest blue hole in Mexico

Scientists discover world's deepest blue hole in Mexico

  • The discovery of the world’s deepest blue hole in Mexico’s Chetumal Bay has captivated the attention of geologists, marine biologists, and adventurers alike. This underwater sinkhole, known as the Taam Ja’ Blue Hole, plunges at least 1,380 feet (420 meters) below sea level, surpassing the previous record holder, the Dragon Hole in the South China Sea.
  • The Taam Ja’ Blue Hole, named after the Mayan phrase for “deep water,” was first discovered in 2003. This natural wonder was first discovered by a local diver who followed a grouper into its mouth. However, it wasn’t until the son of that fisherman collaborated with marine academic Juan Carlos Alcérreca-Huerta that the true depth of the blue hole was measured and appreciated.
  • The mouth of the Taam Ja’ Blue Hole is nearly circular, with a major axis measuring 151.8 meters (498 feet), and its orientation is similar to the major faults in the area. Blue holes are known for their distinctive blue color when viewed from above, and they are typically only a few dozen meters deep.

Climeworks opens world’s largest plant to extract CO2 from air in Iceland

Climeworks opens world's largest plant to extract CO2 from air in Iceland

  • The world’s largest facility designed to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere started operations in Iceland. Dubbed “Mammoth,” this plant is Climeworks’ second commercial direct air capture (DAC) facility in the nation and is significantly larger than its predecessor, Orca, which began in 2021.
  • This cutting-edge technology draws in air and chemically extracts carbon dioxide, which can then be stored underground, converted into stone, or reused.
  • The Swiss company Climeworks, in partnership with Icelandic company Carbfix, plans to sequester the captured carbon by turning it into stone beneath the earth’s surface, utilizing Iceland’s abundant geothermal energy to power the process. 
  • This approach underscores a growing trend of using next-generation climate solutions as the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide continues to hit record highs. 

New tardigrade species named after Chandrayaan-3 mission

New tardigrade species named after Chandrayaan-3 mission

  • Researchers from the Department of Marine Biology, Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) have discovered a new species of marine tardigrade, colloquially known as water bears – a phylum of eight-legged segmented micro-animals.
  • This microscopic creature has been named as Batillipes chandrayaani, a homage to the Chandrayaan-3, the first-ever successful lunar south pole landing mission hosted by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 2023.
  • This newly described species was found in the intertidal beach sediments of Mandapam coast, Tamil Nadu. The present species is similar in size to other tardigrades, measuring around 0.15 millimeters (mm) in length and 0.04 mm in width characterised by four pairs of legs.
  • This is for the third time a marine tardigrade is described from the Indian waters and also the second time from the east coast. 


OBITUARIES

Sahitya Akademi award-winning Urdu litterateur Salam Bin Razzaq passes away

Sahitya Akademi award-winning Urdu litterateur Salam Bin Razzaq passes away

  • Sahitya Akademi award-winning Urdu litterateur Salam Bin Razzaq passes away at 83 in Navi Mumbai after a prolonged illness.
  • Salam Bin Razzaq’s literary journey was marked by over four dozen stories broadcasted on All India Radio, alongside the publication of three significant short story collections in Urdu and Hindi. 
  • His works, including “Nangi Dopahar Ka Sipahi,” “Muabbir,” and “Zindagi Afsana Nahin,” captivated readers with their depth and storytelling prowess.
  • He was the recipient of the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award for Urdu literature in 2004 for his acclaimed short story collection, ‘Shikasta Buton Ke Darmiyan’.

Popular director Sangeeth Sivan passes away 

Popular director Sangeeth Sivan passes away 

  • Popular film director Sangeeth Sivan (61), who made Malayalam and Hindi films and was unwell for some time, passed away at a private hospital in Mumbai. 
  • Sangeeth was the elder brother of ace cinematographer and director Santosh Sivan, and filmmaker Sanjeev Sivan. Their father Sivam was National Award-winning film personality who passed away a few years back.
  • Sangeeth began his film career as an assistant to his father before turning professional as the writer and executive producer of the Hindi film ‘Raakh’ (1989). His second film after becoming a full-time director was ‘Yoddha’ (1992), one of the biggest hits in Malayalam cinema.
  • He directed a few more films in Malayalam before shifting to Mumbai, where directed seven Hindi films and a few web series, including ‘Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne’, ‘Kyaa Kool Hai Hum’, ‘Apna Sapna Money Money’, and ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana 2’, among others.


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