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Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 13th April, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 13 April 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

India Overtakes China in Digital Services Exports: Key Findings from WTO Report

India Overtakes China in Digital Services Exports: Key Findings from WTO Report

  • India has secured its place as the world’s fourth-largest exporter of digitally delivered services, contributing more than a fifth to the global trade in services.
  • As per the recent Global Trade Outlook and Statistics report by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), India’s exports of digitally delivered services reached $257 billion in 2023, marking a 17% increase compared to the previous year. This growth outpaced that of Germany and China, which saw 4% growth each.
  • The report highlights that globally, exports of digitally delivered services surged to $4.25 trillion in 2023, marking a 9% year-on-year increase. This accounted for 13.8% of world exports of goods and services.
  • The report underscores a robust growth trajectory for digitally delivered services, despite a decline in global goods trade. Notably, in Europe and Asia, exports surged by 11 percent and 9 percent, respectively. Overall, digitally delivered services accounted for $4.25 trillion in global exports, representing 13.8 percent of world exports of goods and services.
  • The report also showed a rise in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, including AI models capable of generating various types of content such as text, images, music, and videos


BANKING & FINANCE

Revolut gets in-principle approval from RBI for Prepaid Payment Instruments licence

Revolut gets in-principle approval from RBI for Prepaid Payment Instruments licence

  • Revolut India said it has received an in-principle authorisation from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to issue Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI) including prepaid cards and prepaid wallets in the country.
  • This enables it to operate as a domestic player in the market, the global fintech firm said in a statement.
  • This approval builds upon the existing licences which Revolut India has successfully obtained from RBI to operate as a Category-II Authorised Money Exchange Dealer (AD II) and to be able to provide multi-currency forex cards and cross-border remittance services, it said. 

CAMS gets RBI’s nod to operate as an online payment aggregator

CAMS gets RBI’s nod to operate as an online payment aggregator

  • Computer Age Management Services Ltd said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted authorisation to the company to operate as an online payment aggregator
  • The certificate of authorisation bearing No 183/2024 has been received today by the company. The company received an in-principle authorisation from RBI in February 2023. 
  • The company made an application to RBI for the issue of a certificate of authorisation after the business became regulated consequent to the issue of ‘Guidelines on Regulation of Payment Aggregators and Payment Gateways’ (Guidelines) in March 2020.

Ashneer Grover Ventures into Fintech with ZeroPe Medical Loan App

Ashneer Grover Ventures into Fintech with ZeroPe Medical Loan App

  • BharatPe co-founder and former managing director Ashneer Grover is gearing up for a new venture in the fintech space with ZeroPe, an app designed for medical loans. 
  • ZeroPe, currently in its testing phase, has been developed by Third Unicorn, according to its Google Playstore listing. 
  • The ZeroPe app is set to provide instant pre-approved medical loans of up to Rs 500,000 in collaboration with Delhi-based Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) Mukut Finvest. The service is exclusively available at partnered hospitals, as mentioned on the ZeroPe app website.

MUFG to Acquire 20% Stake in HDB Financial Services, Valuing at $9-10 Billion Pre-IPO

MUFG to Acquire 20% Stake in HDB Financial Services, Valuing at $9-10 Billion Pre-IPO

  • The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (MUFG) is getting ready to acquire a 20 per cent stake in HDB Financial Services, a non-banking subsidiary of HDFC Bank, at a valuation of $9-10 billion. The deal is expected to be finalised at the HDFC Bank board meeting next week. 
  • The transaction will be one of the largest deals in the shadow banking sector in India. HDFC Bank, the country’s largest private lender, currently owns around 95 per cent of HDB Financial Services, with the remaining 5 per cent held by employees under an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). 
  • The acquisition will be executed at a valuation of around five times the book value of HDB Financial Services. HDB Financial Services is expected to fetch a valuation in the range of USD 9 billion to USD 12 billion ( ₹75,000 crore to ₹1 lakh crore) during its upcoming initial public offering (IPO), subject to prevailing market conditions. 


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

French automaker Citroen becomes 1st MNC to export EVs from India

French automaker Citroen becomes 1st MNC to export EVs from India

  • French automaker Citroën has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first multinational car manufacturer in India to export locally manufactured electric vehicles (EVs) to international markets.
  • This move underscores the company’s commitment to producing sustainable transportation solutions in alignment with India’s “Make in India” initiative.
  • Citroën commenced the export of 500 units of “Made in India” ë-C3 electric cars to Indonesia from Kamarajar Port near Chennai. 
  • Citroën ë-C3: The four-wheeler hatchback offers a 320 km range certified by ARAI MIDC along with 100% DC Fast Charge and 15 AMP home charging options for convenience. The car is available in 13 exterior colours and will have 47 customisation options. 

Retail Inflation eases to 4.85 per cent in March, 2024

Retail Inflation eases to 5.09 per cent in February, 2024

  • Retail inflation in the country, gauged by the Consumer Price Index, eased to 4.85 per cent in March from 5.09 per cent the previous month, official data showed. 
  • Food inflation, measured by the CPI Food index, also cooled, coming in at 8.52 per cent last month as against 8.66 per cent in February. 
  • Meanwhile, the industrial production surged to a four-month high of 5.7 per cent in February compared with 4.2 per cent in the previous month.
  • This month, the central bank’s all-powerful Monetary Policy Committee voted 5:1 to leave the repo rate, the benchmark interest rate at which the RBI lends money to commercial banks, unchanged at 6.5 per cent. 

India’s Index of Industrial Production grows by 5.7% in February, 2024

India's Industrial Production Grows to 3.8% in December 2023, Up from 2.4% in November

  • India’s industrial production growth accelerated to a four-month high of 5.7 per cent in February 2024, mainly due to the good performance of the mining sector, according to official data released. 
  • The factory output growth measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) was 6 per cent in February 2023. 
  • The previous high of IIP was recorded at 11.9 per cent in October 2023, which slowed to 2.5 per cent in November, 4.2 per cent in December and 4.1 per cent in January 2024. During the April-February period of 2023-24, IIP growth touched 5.9 per cent, up from 5.6 per cent in the year-ago period.

India’s GDP to grow 6.1% in 2024: Moody’s Analytics

Moody's upgrades India's 2024 GDP forecast to 6.8% 

  • Moody’s Analytics projected India’s economy to expand 6.1% in 2024, lower than 7.7% growth clocked in 2023.
  • It said output in India remains 4% lower than it would have been without the COVID pandemic and its various aftershocks — from supply snags to military conflicts abroad.
  • In its report titled ‘APAC Outlook: Listening Through the Noise’, Moody’s Analytics said the region overall is doing better than other parts of the world. The APAC (Asia Pacific) economy will grow 3.8% this year, which compares with a growth of 2.5% for the world economy. 
  • Inflation in India is at the opposite extreme, with recent consumer price inflation rates hovering around 5%, close to the upper end of the Reserve Bank of India’s target range of 2 to 6% and without clear evidence of a trend towards slowing price pressures. 

India’s foreign exchange reserves at a record high of $648.56 bn

India’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Increased By 140 Million Dollars

  • India’s foreign exchange reserves touched a fresh record high of $648.56 billion in the week ended April 5th, topping the previous high of $645.58 billion, latest data published by the central bank showed.
  • The reserves rose by $2.9 billion and were primarily driven by gold assets that climbed $2.4 billion. A spike in bullion (gold) prices has caused reserves to surge. This is the third time in the past two months where reserves have touched fresh highs.
  • Potential supply chain disruptions spawned by uncertain geopolitics in West Asia and Eastern Europe prompted central banks to increase their gold assets, helping mitigate the impacts of currency volatility and elevated interest rates in the US.

Economy poised for 8-9% growth, says CII President

Economy poised for 8-9% growth, says CII President

  • India’s economy is poised to achieve 8-9% growth, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) president R Dinesh told, highlighting land, labour and manufacturing reforms as the key focus areas for the new government, which he said will also spur private investment.
  • However, achieving this depends on how the country navigates the global headwinds of “fluid geo political scenario” and global commodity price risks. 
  • Dinesh highlighted that India’s focus on developing physical infrastructure and creation of world class digital public infrastructure in recent years has set the base for economic growth to gain further momentum. Another positive aspect is the government and RBI have been able to keep a lid on inflation. 

Hinduja Group Firm Gets SEBI Approval for Ownership Change of Reliance Wealth

Hinduja Group Firm Gets SEBI Approval for Ownership Change of Reliance Wealth

  • Hinduja Group-owned Asia Enterprises has received SEBI’s approval for taking control of Reliance Wealth Management. The approvals were received under SEBI’s regulations governing investment advisers and portfolio managers, respectively.
  • Reliance Wealth will now proceed with the control change in terms of these regulations, sources said.
  • The approvals come in the wake of the successful bid by IndusInd International Holdings, the promoter entity of the fifth largest private sector bank in India — IndusInd Bank.

Adani Green Energy Builds World’s Largest Renewable Energy Park in Khavda, Gujarat

Adani Green Energy Builds World’s Largest Renewable Energy Park in Khavda, Gujarat

  • Adani Green Energy Limited is developing 30 GW renewable energy plant on barren land at Khavda in Kutch of Gujarat over area of 538 sq km after which it would become the planet’s largest power plant regardless of the energy source.
  • The area of project in Khavda is five times the size of Paris and almost as large as Mumbai. The project was started in December 2022 and the first production was made on December 31, 2023. Adani Green Energy Limited will invest about Rs 1.5 lakh crore and Adani group will invest about Rs 2.3 lakh crore in renewable energy and manufacturing capacity by 2030.
  • The project at Khavda is Hybrid renewable energy cluster where during the morning hours, solar energy is generated and during the evening hours wind generation is generated. It has operationalised capacity of 2,000 MW solar energy.

NIIF Invests USD 200 mn in iBus to Boost Digital Infrastructure in India

NIIF Invests USD 200 mn in iBus to Boost Digital Infrastructure in India

  • The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) announced a USD 200 million (about Rs 1,660 crore) investment in digital infrastructure player Ibus Network and Infrastructure.
  • Ibus will be deploying the funds to scale operations in an organic way by expanding its capacities and for inorganic growth, according to a statement.
  • The company aims to strengthen its position as a leader in in-building solutions, outdoor small cells and managed WiFi services and expand its presence in new emerging sectors like Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, it added.


APPOINTMENTS

Gopi Thotakura: First Indian Pilot to Embark on Space Tourism with Blue Origin

Gopi Thotakura: First Indian Pilot to Embark on Space Tourism with Blue Origin

  • Gopichand Thotakura, an entrepreneur and pilot, has been selected as one of the six crew members for Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin New Shepard -25 (NS-25) mission. 
  • This makes him the “first Indian space tourist” and the second Indian to venture into space after the Indian Army’s Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma in 1984. 
  • The aerospace company unveiled the crew members’ names for the New Shepard-25 mission recently. Thotakura is poised to join the esteemed group of 31 people who have surpassed the Karman line, the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space, via the New Shepard program.
  • This mission marks the seventh human flight for the New Shepard program and the 25th in its history.

Sachidananda Mohanty Appointed as Member, University Grants Commission (UGC)

Sachidananda Mohanty Appointed as Member, University Grants Commission (UGC)

  • Sachidananda Mohanty, former Professor and Head of the Department of English, University of Hyderabad and former Vice­ Chancellor of Central University of Odisha, has been appointed as Member, University Grants Commission (UGC) for three years with immediate effect. 
  • In a career spanning more than three decades, Mohanty has received many distinctions in the field of education and culture, nationally and internationally. He is a former Professor and Head of the Department of English, University of Hyderabad and former Vice­ Chancellor of Central University of Odisha. 
  • Winner of many national and international awards such as the Katha, British Council, Fulbright(twice), Charles Wallace and the Salzburg, he has published extensively in the field of British, American, gender, translation and Post-Colonial studies. His books have appeared in Oxford, Sage, Routledge and Orient Ĺongman, among other notable publishing houses.

Lindy Cameron to be first woman British high commissioner to India

Lindy Cameron to be first woman British high commissioner to India

  • The United Kingdom appointed Lindy Cameron as the first woman British High Commissioner to India. She is expected to join later this month.
  • Lindy Cameron CB OBE has been appointed British High Commissioner to the Republic of India in succession to Alex Ellis CMG who will be transferring to another diplomatic service appointment. 
  • While Cameron is UK’s first woman envoy to India, Delhi has had three women envoys in London since the 1950s.

Mary Kom steps down as India’s Chef-de-Mission for Paris 2024 Olympics

Mary Kom

  • Six-time world champion boxer M C Mary Kom stepped down as India’s chef-de-mission for the upcoming Paris Olympics, saying she is “left with no choice” due to some personal reasons.
  • Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President PT Usha announced that Mary Kom had asked to be relieved from her position in a letter to addressed to her.
  • The celebrated boxer, who is also a bronze-medallist from the 2012 London Olympics, was to be the logistical in-charge of the country’s contingent at the July 26-August 11 Games.


AWARDS

Jain Acharya Lokesh Muni Honored with American President’s Volunteer Award 2024

Jain Acharya Lokesh Muni Honored with American President’s Volunteer Award 2024

  • Jain Acharya Lokesh Muni has become the first Indian monk to be honoured with the American President’s Gold Volunteer Service award in recognition of his contribution to the public good and humanity. 
  • Acharya Lokesh Muni is the founder of a non-governmental organisation, Ahimsa Vishwa Bharat and the World Peace Center in India.
  • The American President’s Volunteer Service Award was established in 2003 during George Bush’s Presidency. The award is given to individuals who have provided at least 500 hours of voluntary service in the United States and whose voluntary work has positively impacted communities and inspired those around them.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 

Russia’s Successful Angara-A5 Rocket Test Launch

Russia’s Successful Angara-A5 Rocket Test Launch

  • Russia tested its Angara-A5 space rocket for the first time. This test-launch was done from Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Far East. Earlier, two launches of Angara rocket on April 9 and 10 were cancelled at the last minute.However, this is Russia’s third test which was successful.
  • According to mission control that launched the rocket, it reached an altitude of more than 25,000 kilometers (15,500 mi) per hour within minutes as it blasted off into space. Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, confirmed that the rocket operated as expected. 
  • The Angara rocket is a 54.5 meter (178.81 ft) three-stage rocket. Its weight is about 773 tons, about 24.5 tons of which can be carried into space.

Chandrayaan-4: ISRO chief Somanath shares plans for next Moon mission in 2040 

Chandrayaan-4: ISRO chief Somanath shares plans for next Moon mission in 2040 

  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief S Somnath that the upcoming phase of the Chandrayaan project is in progress, aiming to advance India’s lunar exploration efforts.
  • He indicated that Chandrayaan-4 marks the initial stride towards India’s aspiration of landing an astronaut on the moon by 2040.
  • Somnath further said that ISRO is working on plenty of other projects ranging from rocket and satellite projects to technology development projects. We have major projects, rocket projects, we have satellite projects, application projects and technology development projects. Rocket projects are around 5-10, satellite projects are about 30-40, and application projects are in 100s and R&D projects are in 1000s. 


OBITUARIES

OJ Simpson, former American footballer, dies at 76 due to cancer

OJ Simpson, former American footballer, dies at 76 due to cancer

  • O.J. Simpson, the decorated football superstar and Hollywood actor who was acquitted of charges he killed his former wife and her friend but later found liable in a separate civil trial, has died. He was 76.
  • Known by the nickname “The Juice”, Simpson was a star running back at the University of Southern California. He won the Heisman Trophy- the top honour in American college football in 1968 before making the jump to the National Football League (NFL) a year later as the Buffalo Bills’ number-one draft pick.
  • He played 11 seasons of professional American football and racked up numerous accolades.

K-Pop singer Park Bo Ram passes away at 30

K-Pop singer Park Bo Ram passes away at 30

  • South Korean singer Park Bo Ram, known for her soulful vocals and memorable contributions to popular K-drama soundtracks, died at the age of 30, leaving her fans and the entertainment industry heartbroken. 
  • Park Bo Ram first gained fame after she appeared on the show Superstar K2 in 2010. She officially debuted with the song “Beautiful” in 2014. Some of her popular songs include “Sorry”, “Pretty Bae”, “Dynamic Love”, “Celepretty”, among others. She also sang a string of well-liked songs for the 2015 K-drama Reply 1988.

Former New Zealand spinner Jack Alabaster passes away at 93

Former New Zealand spinner Jack Alabaster passes away at 93

  • Former New Zealand legspinner Jack Alabaster passed away at the age of 93 in Cromwell, U.K.
  • Alabaster is considered to be one of the best spinners to hail from New Zealand. From 1955 to 1972, he featured in 21 Tests and claimed 49 wickets.
  • He represented Otago in domestic cricket and made 143 first-class appearances during which he claimed 500 scalps.
  • He was also a part of New Zealand’s first four Test wins and also toured India and Pakistan in 1955-56, England in 1958, South Africa in 1961-62 and the West Indies in 1971-72.


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