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Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 14th & 15th April, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 14 & 15 April 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

Election Commission Introduces Home Voting For Elderly And Persons With Disabilities

Election Commission Introduces Home Voting For Elderly And Persons With Disabilities

  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has introduced home voting for the first time in a Lok Sabha Election. This initiative aims to make voting easier for elderly citizens and Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) during the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Now, voters above 85 years of age and PwDs with 40% benchmark disability can choose to vote from home.
  • This step marks a significant advancement in making the electoral process more inclusive and accessible. Over 81 lakh voters are aged 85 or above, and there are more than 90 lakh registered PwD voters across the country.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

India benefiting from growing interest from multinationals: UN report

India benefiting from growing interest from multinationals: UN report

  • India is benefiting from growing interest from multinationals, which see it as an alternative manufacturing base in the context of developed economies’ supply chain diversification strategies, a flagship report by the UN has said, underlining that investment in the country remains strong
  • The ‘2024 Financing for Sustainable Development Report: Financing for Development at a Crossroads (FSDR 2024)’ launched said that urgent steps are needed to mobilise financing at scale to close the development financing gap, now estimated at 4.2 trillion dollars annually, up from 2.5 trillion dollars before the COVID-19 pandemic. underlining that investment in the country remains strong.
  • Meanwhile, rising geopolitical tensions, climate disasters and a global cost-of-living crisis have hit billions of people, battering progress on healthcare, education, and other development targets.
  • The report noted that prospects in most developing countries are also weak due to softer external demand, volatile commodity prices, high borrowing costs and fiscal consolidation pressures. “High levels of debt amid subdued growth continue to constrain fiscal space, making it harder for governments to borrow and invest. Conflicts hamper investment in parts of Africa and Western Asia,” it said.

India gifts 101 vehicles to various organisations in Nepal

India gifts 101 vehicles to various organisations in Nepal

  • India donated 35 ambulances and 66 school buses to various organisations across Nepal, enhancing the local infrastructure in the health and education sectors. Indian Ambassador to Nepal Naveen Srivastava handed over the vehicles to the Nepalese officials in the presence of Finance Minister Barshaman Pun at a ceremony.
  • Out of 101 vehicles, two ambulances were handed over on location in the earthquake-affected Jajarkot and West Rukum districts by the representative of the Embassy of India in the presence of district officials and local residents, a statement from the the Indian Embassy. 

Russia, Ukraine top list of countries from where most cybercrimes originate

Russia, Ukraine top list of countries from where most cybercrimes originate

  • A new World Cybercrime Index developed by researchers shows that a majority of cybercriminals come from just a few countries.It is estimated that cybercrime costs the world around $9.22 trillion in 2024, and this is expected to grow to $13.82 trillion in 2028.
  • However, finding out where cybercriminals work is difficult because they use methods to block their locations. Also, documented legal cases only capture a small part of cases that won’t necessarily be representative of the global scenario.
  • India captured the number 10 spot on the rankings, getting a score of 7.90 for impact, 6.60 for professionalism of cybercriminals, and 6.65 for technical skills. In comparison, China got 8.22, 7.70, and 7.81, while the United States got 7.99, 7.21, and 7.21, respectively. Overall, India got a score of 7.05 while China and the United States got 7.91 and 7.47, respectively, putting them in the third and fourth places. The top two positions were held by Russia and Ukraine.

Bangla New Year ‘Pahela Baishakh’ Being Celebrated In Bangladesh

Bangla New Year ‘Pahela Baishakh’ Being Celebrated In Bangladesh

  • The Bangla New Year  ‘Pahela Baisakh’ is being celebrated in Bangladesh with traditional enthusiasm and fervour. The day began with a grand performance by the cultural group Chhayanaut at the ‘Batmool’, the Banyan root,  at the historic Ramana Park in Dhaka.
  • Artists of the Chhayanaut cultural group began the performance with Raag Vihag at the crack of dawn in front of hundreds of enthusiastic participants. 
  • The programme included classical songs, Rabindra Sangeet and  poetry recitals among others as a continuation of the practice which was started in 1967 to celebrate the new year.

India among 12 nations responsible for 60% of mismanaged plastic waste

India among 12 nations responsible for 60% of mismanaged plastic waste’

  • India is among the twelve countries responsible for 60 percent of the planet’s mismanaged plastic waste though the fast-developing South Asian nation’s per capita plastic waste production is among the lowest in the world, according to a new report.
  • The Plastic Overshoot Day report by Swiss non-profit EA Earth Action also said global plastic waste generation has risen by 7.11 per cent since 2021. The world is estimated to have generated 220 million tons of plastic waste this year, 70 million tons of which will end up polluting the environment.
  • Twelve countries are responsible for 60 per cent of the world’s mismanaged plastic waste: China, India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam, Iran, Indonesia, Egypt, Pakistan, the United States and Turkey,” it said. Though the report classifies India as a “low-waste-producing” polluter due to its low per capita plastic waste production (8 kg per capita per year), it said the country’s expected mismanaged waste in 2024 will be 7.4 million tons, which is “very high”.
  • The report comes ahead of the fourth meeting of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) in Ottawa, Canada, as the world leaders attempt to develop a legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution.

India-Uzbekistan Joint Military Exercise DUSTLIK begins in Uzbekistan

India-Uzbekistan Joint Military Exercise DUSTLIK begins in Uzbekistan

  • The 5th edition of the ‘Dustlik’ joint military exercise between India and Uzbekistan will take place in the Termez district of Uzbekistan starting from April 15. Exercise Dustlik 2024 is the 5th edition of the joint military exercise ‘DUSTLIK’ between India and Uzbekistan.
  • Indian and Uzbekistan armed forces joined for a training programme to enhance cooperation and future military ties.
  • The exercise’s positive atmosphere will foster mutual understanding of each other’s organizations.
  • This will go a long way in further strengthening the relationship between the two armies by enabling them to understand the methodology of conducting various operations.


BANKING & FINANCE

RBI imposes curbs on Shirpur Coop Bank over declining financial position

30 banks join RBI UDGAM portal for unclaimed deposits

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed several restrictions on Maharashtra-based Shirpur Merchants’ Co-operative Bank, including withdrawal of funds by customers, in the wake of the lender’s deteriorating financial position. 
  • In a statement, the RBI said from the close of business, the bank will not grant or renew any loans and advances, make any investment, incur any liability, transfer or otherwise dispose of any of its properties or assets, without prior approval of the central bank in writing. 


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Industry bodies IESA, SEMI partner to boost India’s semiconductor goals

Industry bodies IESA, SEMI partner to boost India's semiconductor goals

  • Giving a fillip to the country’s semiconductor industry, the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) has forged an alliance with global industry association SEMI.
  • The memorandum of understanding (MoU) is a strategic move to foster collaboration and synergies between the two bodies, with the aim of enhancing the Indian semiconductor ecosystem and global partnerships, they said. 

India’s tech sector revenue to grow 3.8% Y-o-Y to $254 billion: Report

India’s tech sector revenue to grow 3.8% Y-o-Y to $254 billion: Report

  • India continues to lead the global technology sector despite global economic uncertainties, according to Deloitte India’s Tech Trends report. It estimates FY24 revenue of $254 billion for India’s tech sector, 3.8 percent y-o-y growth.
  • India continues to lead the global technology sector despite global economic uncertainties, according to Deloitte India’s Tech Trends report. It estimates FY24 revenue of $254 billion for India’s tech sector, 3.8 percent y-o-y growth.
  • According to the report, the rising prominence of GCCs, highlighting India’s increasing ability to meet international tech demands, is a key contributor to the country’s growth. With over 1,600 GCCs, the Indian GCC market is on track to exceed $100 billion by 2030.

India set to become Apple’s third-largest iPhone market by 2026, surpassing UK and Japan

India set to become Apple’s third-largest iPhone market by 2026, surpassing UK and Japan

  • India is likely to surpass Japan and UK to become the third largest market for Apple in terms of shipments in 2026, according to Counterpoint Research Market Outlook.
  • It said 2023 was a record year for Apple in India. It was the first year when iPhone shipments crossed the 10-million mark in the country. For the first time, Apple became the top brand in India in terms of revenue.
  • At the same time, “Made in India” smartphones contributed 13 per cent of Global iPhone shipments in 2023, compared to one per cent in 2018, the global research firm said. It added that owing to these efforts and Apple’s brand affinity, India is likely to remain the fastest growing market for Apple in 2024 and 2025.
  • From a global perspective, the report titled Apple 360 service said that Apple’s services segment is likely to capture one-fourth of the company’s total revenue in 2025.
  • It said that 2025 will also mark the year when services revenue crosses the $100-billion-per-year mark for the first time. Further, the company should breach the $400-billion revenue mark for the first time in 2024, supported by the growth of its hardware and services segments.

IT spending in India to grow 11% y-o-y, to reach $44 billion in 2024: Report

IT spending in India to grow 11% y-o-y, to reach $44 billion in 2024: Report

  • IT spending in India for 2024 is expected to grow 11 per cent year-on-year, reaching $44 billion in 2024, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).
  • In 2023, despite economic headwinds and uncertainty, Indian enterprises continued to invest in digital to increase customer engagement and satisfaction, launch new products and services, and improve operational efficiency to drive revenue growth and profitability.
  • They allocated their budgets mainly to software, application development and cloud migrations, a reflection of their judiciousness to make their hardware assets work longer and elongating refresh cycles, said the report.
  • As India’s digital economy continue to thrive in 2024 and beyond, IDC expects IT spending in India to accelerate at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.9 per cent over the coming years to cross the $59 billion mark in 2027 with the software market consistently showing double digit growth across the forecasted years.

WhatsApp introduces Meta AI chatbot for certain users in India

WhatsApp introduces Meta AI chatbot for certain users in India

  • Meta-owned WhatsApp has started a limited rollout of an integrated AI feature, providing select users with early access to Meta’s artificial intelligence technology after updating to the latest version available on the iOS App Store and Android’s Google Play Store. 
  • The new AI functionality is being introduced in stages to users who have set their app language to English in certain undisclosed countries. However, users in India have widely reported getting the new feature.
  • Meta revealed a variety of new AI-powered features during Meta Connect 2023, highlighting the company’s foray into artificial intelligence with the debut of ‘Meta AI’. This AI assistant is tailored for integration across Meta’s range of apps, particularly WhatsApp. 
  • Moreover, Meta has partnered with Microsoft’s Bing to integrate real-time information retrieval into text-based conversations.


SPORTS

Bayer Leverkusen Clinch Maiden Bundesliga Title, End Bayern Munich’s 11-Year Reign

Bayer Leverkusen Clinch Maiden Bundesliga Title, End Bayern Munich’s 11-Year Reign

  • Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen won their maiden Bundesliga title, ending Bayern Munich’s 11-year championship reign after a commanding 5-0 victory over Werder Bremen. This triumph marks Leverkusen’s first Bundesliga title since their German Cup victory in 1993.
  • The emphatic win propelled Leverkusen 16 points clear of second-placed Bayern Munich with five games left in the season, cementing their unassailable lead.
  • In addition to their Bundesliga success, Leverkusen holds a 2-0 advantage over West Ham United in the Europa League quarterfinals and anticipates a German Cup final against Kaiserslautern. 


APPOINTMENTS

Iceland appoints Bjarni Benediktsson to replace Katrín Jakobsdóttir as PM

Iceland appoints Bjarni Benediktsson to replace Katrín Jakobsdóttir as PM

  • Iceland has appointed Bjarni Benediktsson to replace Katrín Jakobsdóttir as prime minister after she resigned to run in the country’s upcoming presidential election.
  • Benediktsson, who was previously the Nordic country’s foreign minister, officially took over from Jakobsdóttir after she stood down following more than six years in office. 
  • The announcement came after an agreement was reached between his party, the Independence party, which is conservative and pro-business and trade, and the other governing parties: the Progressive party and Jakobsdóttir’s Left-Greens.

Vietnam names Vo Thi Anh Xuan as interim president

Vietnam names Vo Thi Anh Xuan as interim president

  • Vietnam’s Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan will serve as acting president after the previous president’s resignation a year into the position. 
  • Xuan, 54, became vice president in 2021 and she will be serving as acting president for the second time. 
  • President Vo Van Thuong resigned due to unspecified violations that hurt the perception and reputation of the party and the state, the Communist Party said. Thuong’s predecessor Nguyen Xuan Phuc had resigned last year to take “political responsibility” for corruption scandals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vandita Kaul (IPoS) appointed as Secretary of Department of Posts

Vandita Kaul (IPoS) appointed as Secretary of Department of Posts

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Vandita Kaul (IPoS) as Secretary of Department of Posts in place of Vineet Pandey (IPoS), upon his superannuation from the post.
  • Vandita is an Indian Postel Service (IPoS) service officer of 1989-batch. Presently, she is posted as Member (Banking & Direct Benefit Transfer) of Postal Services.


AWARDS

PM Modi Is First Indian PM After Indira Gandhi To Feature On Newsweek Cover

PM Modi Is First Indian PM After Indira Gandhi To Feature On Newsweek Cover

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has featured on the cover of New York-based Newsweek magazine, making him the first prime minister of India to feature on its cover after Indira Gandhi. Former prime minister Indira Gandhi featured on the cover of the magazine’s April 1966 issue. 
  • The New York-based magazine interviewed PM Modi in late March through written questions that focussed on India-China border situation, Ram Mandir, Article 370, among others. The written questions were followed up with a 90-minute conversation between PM Modi and Newsweek team.
  • The wide-ranging interview with the New York-based magazine also included a host of issues including the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, ties with Pakistan, Quad, the Ram temple, and democracy, among others.

Israeli scientist Avi Wigderson wins prestigious AM Turing Award

Israeli scientist Avi Wigderson wins prestigious AM Turing Award

  • Avi Wigderson, an Israeli mathematician renowned for his groundbreaking work in computer science, has been honoured with the esteemed Turing Award for 2023. 
  • This accolade recognised Wigderson’s pioneering research into the utilisation of randomness to enhance computer algorithms. 
  • The Turing Award is an annual prize given by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) to an individual who has made contributions of lasting importance to the field of computing.
  • It is often referred to as the Nobel Prize of computing and is named after Alan Turing, a British mathematician and computer scientist who is considered one of the founding fathers of computer science.

Renowned Virologist Dr Gagandeep Kang bags John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award 2024

  • Dr Gagandeep Kang, Director of Global Health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has been selected for the prestigious John Dirks Award in global health. It is the most well-recognised global health award.
  • The John Dirks Award in global health is awarded by the Gairdner Foundation in Canada. 
  • She is the first Indian woman to get this award and says it is a huge honour for all the work that she and her colleagues did while at Christian Medical College, Vellore. The focus of Dr Kang’s work has been on childhood diarrhoea disease and comprehensive studies, including the work on vaccines. She also became the first Indian woman to be elected Fellow of the Royal Society.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

DRDO And Indian Army Conduct Successful Trials Of MPATGM Weapon System

DRDO And Indian Army Conduct Successful Trials Of MPATGM Weapon System

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) carried out successful trials of the Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) Weapon System at PFFR in Rajasthan.
  • The trials were conducted in the presence of the user team. During the trials, the missile performance and warhead performance were found to be remarkable.
  • The Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) Weapon System was indigenously designed and developed by DRDO. It consists of MPATGM, the Man Portable Launcher, the Target Acquisition System (TAS), and the Fire Control Unit (FCU).
  • Penetration trials of the Tandem Warhead System of MPATGM have been completed and the Tandem Warhead is found capable of defeating modern armour-protected Main Battle Tank (MBT). The ATGM system is well equipped with day/night and top attack capability. Dual mode seeker functionality is a great value addition to the missile capability for Tank Warfare. 


BOOKS & AUTHORS 

Salman Rushdie to release ‘Knife’ memoir recounting stabbing

Salman Rushdie to release 'Knife' memoir recounting stabbing

  • Celebrated British-American author Salman Rushdie is set to release his memoir “Knife”, recounting the chilling experience of being stabbed at a public event in 2022 and his journey to overcome the near-fatal ordeal. 
  • The book serves as a powerful testament to Rushdie’s unwavering commitment to free speech, a core value that has defined his life and literary career.
  • The Indian-born author, a naturalized American based in New York, has faced death threats since his 1988 novel “The Satanic Verses” was declared blasphemous by Iran’s supreme leader.


IMPORTANT DAYS

India Celebrates World Quantum Day 2024 – Aspires to lead in Quantum Science and Technology 

India Celebrates World Quantum Day 2024 - Aspires to lead in Quantum Science and Technology 

  • India celebrates World Quantum Day 2024 on April 14, 2024, with aspirations to become a global leader in various fields of Quantum Science and Technology.
  • To advance the awareness and appreciation of quantum science and technology among the public worldwide, an international initiative was taken in 2022, commemorated annually as the World Quantum Day on April 14th.
  • The National Quantum Mission (NQM), conceptualized by the Prime Minister Science Technology Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) received Cabinet approval on April 19, 2023 with a total outlay of Rs 6003.65 Crore for a period of eight years. 


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