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Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 14th May, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 14 May 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

India to extend budgetary support of $50 million to Maldives

India to extend budgetary support of $50 million to Maldives

  • India decided to continue its budgetary support to the Maldives government with the rollover of a $50 million treasury bill for another year. This follows the Maldivian government’s special request made during Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer’s visit last week. 
  • The State Bank of India has subscribed for one more year to the USD 50 million Government Treasury Bill, issued by the Ministry of Finance of Maldives, upon maturity of the previous subscription, the High Commission of India said. 
  • The Indian government took this decision despite the bilateral ties experiencing turbulence since Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu, a pro-China leader, assumed office six months back.

India to ink 10-year Chabahar Port pact with Tehran

India to ink 10-year Chabahar Port pact with Tehran

  • India and Iran signed a 10-year contract to further equip and operate a Chabahar port terminal. The contract will see India Ports Global Limited (IPGL) investing $120 million in equipping the strategic port that provides India access to Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan which denies India land access to the region.
  • During his visit to Tehran, minister of shipping, ports and waterways Sarbananda Sonowal witnessed the signing of the new 10-year contract between IPGL and Ports & Maritime Organisation of Iran (PMO).
  • Under the contract, IPGL will commit to further equip and operate the port for the duration of the contract. At the end of the 10-year period, both sides would further extend their cooperation in Chabahar. 

India, Oman to jointly undertake research on sharks and rays in Arabian Sea

India, Oman to jointly undertake research on sharks and rays in Arabian Sea

  • A  joint initiative between India and Oman to boost research and conservation of sharks and rays in the Arabian Sea will be launched at an upcoming workshop at ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI)
  • Experts from both countries will take part in the workshop which is expected to take place shortly, which will take up the collaborative research works and capacity building in elasmobranch research.
  • The workshop will lay the foundation for a collaborative future in marine research between the two countries and open avenues for regional management and conservation of iconic resources such as sharks and rays in the Arabian Sea. 

IIIT Lucknow, Relief Commissioner’s office launch India’s first comprehensive climate analytics course

IIIT Lucknow, Relief Commissioner’s office launch India’s first comprehensive climate analytics course

  • In a landmark initiative to fortify disaster resilience, the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Lucknow (IIIT Lucknow), in collaboration with the Climate Resilience Observatory of the Government of Uttar Pradesh, has launched India’s inaugural course in climate analytics. 
  • This course offers M.Sc. in Data Science with specialization in Climate Data Analytics. UP’s Chief Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra launched the new course, in the presence of IIIT Director Dr. Arun Sherry.
  • M.Sc. in data science focuses on advanced techniques in statistical modelling, machine learning, big data analytics and data visualisation. Students will be equipped with the necessary tools to extract insights from massive datasets and make data-driven decisions. 

India-France joint military exercise ‘Shakti’ commences in Meghalaya

India-France joint military exercise 'Shakti' commences in Meghalaya

  • The 7th edition of India- France Joint Military Exercise SHAKTI commenced at Umroi, in a fully developed and modern Foreign Training Node in Meghalaya. The Exercise is scheduled to be conducted from 13th to 26th May 2024.
  • The exercise aims to enhance the joint military capacity of both sides to undertake Multi-Domain Operations in a sub-conventional scenario.
  • Indian contingent comprising 90 personnel is being represented primarily by a Battalion of the RAJPUT Regiment besides personnel from other arms and services. Observers from the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force will also form part of the exercise. 
  • The French contingent comprising 90 personnel will be represented mainly by personnel from the 13th Foreign Legion Half-Brigade (13th DBLE).

EAM Dr S Jaishankar Inaugurates Arbitration Bar Of India In Delhi

EAM Dr S Jaishankar Inaugurates Arbitration Bar Of India In Delhi

  • External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar inaugurated the Arbitration Bar of India at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi. He said arbitration is recognised as cornerstone of modern dispute resolution. He said it is key for India in its rapid economic progress.
  • External Affairs Minister said this event is a marked redistribution of India’s power and influence in the world. He pointed out that global order has witnessed rebalancing and economic capabilities have re-emerged for India and its dimensions will naturally spread out more in the world.
  • The EAM also highlighted the government’s efforts in streamlining interstate commerce through the Goods and Services Tax, fostering a unified national market, and promoting digitally enabled delivery. 

Ministry Of Mines Secretary VL Kantha Rao Inaugurates Registered Office Of Khanij Bidesh India Limited In Delhi

Ministry Of Mines Secretary VL Kantha Rao Inaugurates Registered Office Of Khanij Bidesh India Limited In Delhi

  • Ministry of Mines Secretary VL Kantha Rao inaugurated the Registered Office of Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL) in New Delhi. 
  • KABIL, a Joint Venture Company formed by NALCO, HCL and MECL, the CPSEs under the Ministry of Mines, is entrusted with the important mission of identifying, exploring, acquiring, and developing critical & strategic mineral assets overseas.
  • The Secretary Mines in his inaugural address mentioned that the inauguration of Office of KABIL at Delhi symbolizes a new era of concerted efforts towards ensuring the mineral security of India. With a steadfast commitment to excellence, KABIL is poised to play a crucial role in driving India’s growth and self-sufficiency in the realm of critical & strategic minerals aligning with the objectives of “Make in India” and “Viksit Bharat”   and India achieving the Net Zero Emission Goal.

India all set to overtake Japan as 4th largest economy by 2025: G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant

India all set to overtake Japan as 4th largest economy by 2025: G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant

  • Citing various macroeconomic parameters that are doing pretty well, India’s G20 Sherpa and former CEO of Niti Aayog Amitabh Kant projected that the country is all set to overtake Japan as 4th largest economy in the world by 2025.
  • The size of India’s GDP is currently ranked 5th, after the US, China, Germany, and Japan. It overtook the UK in 2022. Just a decade ago, Indian GDP was the eleventh largest in the world. Currently, India’s GDP is estimated to be around USD 3.7 trillion.
  • Some highlights of India’s journey to the top 5 economies of the world in 2024 from Fragile 5 in 2013, according to Kant, among others, record GST collection, over 8 per cent GDP growth in the past three quarters, trading in Indian currency Rupee with various countries (to be precise 27), inflation at manageable levels.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

EU adopts first law tackling violence against women

EU adopts first law tackling violence against women

  • The European Union, adopted the first law to tackle violence against women, which includes action against forced marriages, female genital mutilation and online harassment but failed to settle on a common definition of rape.
  • The sweeping legislation aims to protect women in the 27-nation bloc from gender-based violence, forced marriages, and female genital mutilation. 
  • It also criminalises cyber violence against women including online stalking, harassment, incitement to hatred or violence, and the non-consensual sharing of intimate images.
  • These crimes, in line with the new law, will be punishable by prison sentences ranging from at least one to five years, depending on the crime. 

INS Kiltan Arrives At Cam Ranh Bay In Vietnam: Defence Ministry

INS Kiltan Arrives At Cam Ranh Bay In Vietnam: Defence Ministry

  • The Indian Naval Ship, INS Kiltan, arrived at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam,, where it received a warm welcome from the Vietnam People’s Navy and the Indian Embassy there.
  • The visit is part of the Operational Deployment of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet, and is poised to further bolster the longstanding friendship and cooperation between India and Vietnam, the Indian Navy said.
  • India and Vietnam share a comprehensive strategic partnership. Furthering the ties, the visit by the Indian Naval Ship Kiltan is focused on activities including professional interactions, sports, social exchanges and community outreach, reflecting the shared values of both navies.

Belize, Jamaica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and Syphilis

Belize, Jamaica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and Syphilis

  • Belize, Jamaica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are the latest countries in the Americas to receive certification from the World Health Organization (WHO) for eliminating the mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis (EMTCT).
  • The milestone was marked at a commemorative event organized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Kingston, Jamaica, with support from UNICEF and UNAIDS and with the participation of health ministers from the three countries. 
  • In 2010, countries of the Americas committed to the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis and endorsed the regional strategy, which was updated in 2016 under the PAHO Plan of Action for the Prevention and Control of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections.
  • To meet elimination targets, countries focused on strengthening prevention and treatment services within primary health care and in maternal and child health, updating guidelines, ensuring the effective screening of pregnant women, monitoring cases and following-up with HIV and syphilis exposed infants.


BANKING & FINANCE

RBI asks NBFCs to stick to gold loan cash payment of Rs 20000 ceiling

RBI's gold purchase highest in almost two years

  • The Reserve Bank has asked NBFC firms not to disburse cash component in excess of Rs 20,000 on loans against gold in line with the Income Tax laws.
  • In an advisory issued to gold loan financiers and microfinance entities earlier this week, the Reserve Bank of India has advised them to follow Section 269SS of the Income Tax Act.
  • The advisory comes weeks after the Reserve Bank barred IIFL Finance from sanctioning or disbursing gold loans after certain material supervisory concerns were observed in its gold loan portfolio.

Bank of India signs MOU with Indian Coast Guard for BOI Rakshak Package

Bank of India signs MOU with Indian Coast Guard for BOI Rakshak Package

  • Bank of India has signed a MOU with the Indian Coast Guard, offering a Defence service Salary Package with best in class features under its “BOI Rakshak Salary/ Pension Savings Scheme”.
  • Through this BOI Rakshak Package, Bank of India will offer numerous benefits to all ranks of the Indian Coast Guard, veterans, recruits and agniveers including personal accidental insurance coverage upto 150 Lakhs, Permanent Total Disability cover upto Rs 50 Lakhs, Air Accidental Cover upto Rs 100 Lakhs and Permanent Partial Disability Cover of Rs 25 Lakhs.
  • Apart from this the Bank will also offer Concessions in Retail Loans, Processing Charges and Locker Rentals.
  • BOI’s digital Initiative and BOI Mobile Omni Neo app will also enable the defence personnel at borders and other remote areas to stay connected and get easy access to a bouquet of financial solutions.

SBI becomes the first bank as trading, clearing member of IIBX

SBI allows customers to digitally enrol under PMJJBY and PMSBY schemes

  • Public sector lender, State Bank of India (SBI), announced it has become the first trading-cum-clearing member at the India International Bullion Exchange (IIBX) – the country’s first bullion exchange in GIFT City Gandhinagar.
  • This enables SBI’s IFSC Banking unit (IBU) to trade on the IIBX platform. The Reserve Bank of India recently permitted IBUs to act as trading members and trading and clearing members at IIBX as special category clients (SCCs) to import gold through the bullion exchange. 
  • This step marks a change in India’s Bullion Market, ushering transparency, efficiency, and accessibility in the bullion trading market and this significant milestone solidifies SBI’s commitment to innovation and excellence in the financial sector. 

DBS Bank India rolls out initiative to support women re-entering the workplace

DBS Bank India announces $250 million lending support for start-ups, ‘new economy’ companies

  • DBS Bank India has rolled out a programme aimed at women who are transitioning back into the workspace, including new mothers.
  • This initiative is part of the bank’s focus on developing a more diverse workforce and supporting employees through different life stages.
  • The organisation has developed a six-month internship programme wherein shortlisted returnees will engage in projects and receive guidance from industry leaders within a supportive environment to enable a smoother transition back to work. The programme involves hands-on experience as well.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

India’s imports from FTA partners up 38% during 2019-24 fiscal years: GTRI

UAE, Russia, Saudi Arabia import more Indian engineering goods in April-Feb 2023-24

  • India’s imports of goods from countries with which it has a free trade agreement like the UAE, South Korea and Australia grew about 38 per cent during 2019-24 fiscal years to $187.92 billion, according to think tank GTRI.
  • The growth in shipments spans a five-year comparison, from 2018-19 (FY19) to FY24, Delhi-based think tank Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI) said.
  • On the other hand, India’s total outbound shipments to its FTA partners grew at a slower pace compared to total merchandise exports. Exports from FTA nations increased by 14.48 per cent to $122.72 billion, while total exports saw a 32 per cent growth at $437 billion.
  • This includes India’s trade agreements with South Korea, Japan, Australia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mauritius, the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) nations, and the South Asian Free Trade Area. These countries constituted 28 per cent of India’s total trade exports and imports during FY24.

China overtakes US to become India’s top trading partner in FY24

Services trade surplus hits record $44.9 billion in December quarter

  • China has emerged as India’s largest trading partner in the FY 2023-24 with $118.4 billion two-way commerce, narrowly edging past the US, according to the data of economic think tank GTRI
  • The bilateral trade between India and the US stood at $118.3 billion in 2023-24. Washington was the top trading partner of New Delhi during 2021-22 and 2022-23.
  • According to the report, India’s exports to China rose by 8.7 per cent to $16.67 billion in the last fiscal. The main sectors which recorded healthy growth in exports to that country include iron ore, cotton yarn/fabrics/madeups, handloom, spices, fruits and vegetables, plastic and linoleum.Imports from the neighbouring country increased by 3.24 per cent to $101.7 billion.
  • Meanwhile, exports to the US dipped by 1.32 per cent to $77.5 billion in 2023-24 as against $78.54 billion in 2022-23, while imports dipped by about 20 per cent to $40.8 billion, the report showed.


SPORTS

Indian Gymnast Srishti Khandagale Wins Silver At Asian Championships

Indian Gymnast Srishti Khandagale Wins Silver At Asian Championships

  • In Trampoline, India’s Srishti Khandagale scripted history by becoming the first ever Indian to win a medal at the Asian Trampoline Gymnastics Championships. 
  • She clinched the silver medal in Women’s Individual Age group category at the 6th Asian Trampoline Gymnastics Championship held in Hong Kong, China. 
  • However, she did not qualify for the upcoming Paris Olympics, as she was competing in an age group event. Kazakhstan’s Dolgopolova secured the gold medal, while Hong Kong’s S Hung won the bronze.


APPOINTMENTS

Rizwan Koita, Director of Koita Foundation, appointed as the NABH Chairperson

Rizwan Koita, Director of Koita Foundation, appointed as the NABH Chairperson

  • Mr. Rizwan Koita, Director of Koita Foundation and co-founder of CitiusTech, has been appointed as the chairperson of the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH)
  • Mr. Koita has been a Board member of NABH over the past 2 years and has been actively involved with the Digital Health initiatives at NABH.
  • NABH is a constituent board of the Quality Council of India (QCI) that is responsible for setting benchmarks for quality, accrediting and certifying hospitals and other healthcare organisations. 

Bijith Bhaskar resigns as ICICI Bank’s cards and payments head

Bijith Bhaskar resigns as ICICI Bank’s cards and payments head

  • ICICI Bank said that Bijith Bhaskar has resigned from his position. Bhaskar had been heading divisions like cards, payment solutions, e-commerce ecosystem, and consumer finance at ICICI Bank. This had marked the end of his 21 years tenure with the bank.
  • Bhaskar ranks as one of the senior management personnel in the organization. His resignation was officially accepted by the bank on the same day, as confirmed through the bank’s filing with the stock exchange. 
  • Over the course of his two-decade-long association with ICICI Bank, Bhaskar handled a range of key portfolios. His key functions included managing consumer finance, driving the bank’s e-commerce initiatives, and steering payment solutions. 


AWARDS

Ramcharitmanas, Panchatantra, and Sahṛdayāloka-Locana enter ‘UNESCO’s Memory of the World Asia-Pacific Regional Register’

Ramcharitmanas, Panchatantra, and Sahṛdayāloka-Locana enter ‘UNESCO's Memory of the World Asia-Pacific Regional Register’

  • The Ramcharitmanas, Panchatantra and Sahṛdayāloka-Locana have been included in ‘UNESCO’s Memory of the World Asia-Pacific Regional Register’.  This inclusion is a proud moment for India, a confirmation of the country’s rich literary heritage and cultural legacy.
  • It signifies a step forward in global cultural preservation efforts, highlighting the importance of recognizing and safeguarding the diverse narratives and artistic expressions that shape our shared humanity.
  • By honouring these literary masterpieces, society not only pays homage to the creative genius of their creators but also ensures that their profound wisdom and timeless teachings continue to inspire and enlighten future generations.

Switzerland Wins Eurovision Song Contest Amid Gaza Protests

Switzerland Wins Eurovision Song Contest Amid Gaza Protests

  • Switzerland won the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 in Swedish host city Malmo, beating runner-up Croatia, after having been among bookmakers’ top-three to win the competition.
  • Billed as a feel-good celebration of European diversity, this year’s contest has been thrust into the political spotlight with calls for Israel to be excluded over its military campaign in Gaza, triggered by Hamas’ deadly attack on Oct. 7 in Israel.
  • Swiss rapper and singer Nemo, 24, won the contest with “The Code”, a drum-and-bass, opera, rap and rock song, about Nemo’s journey of self-discovery as a non-binary person.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

ISRO Successfully Tests New Liquid Rocket Engine In Tamil Nadu

ISRO Successfully Tests New Liquid Rocket Engine In Tamil Nadu

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO successfully tested the new liquid rocket engine manufactured through Additive Manufacturing technology. The test was successfully carried out at ISRO Propulsion Complex in Mahendragiri in Tamilnadu.
  • This new redesigned PS4 engine has brought down the number of parts from 14 to a single piece and eliminated 19 weld joints. This will significantly save on the raw material usage per engine, reduce metal powder from 565 kgs to 13.7 kgs and reduce the production time by 60 percent.
  • This new redesigned engine will be used for the fourth stage of PSLV launch vehicle and also in the Reaction Control System of the First Stage in PSLV. 
  • ISRO is planning to induct this PS4 engine into the regular PSLV program. Additive Manufacturing technology means 3D printing of PS4 engines.The Private partner Wipro 3D joined hands with ISRO to successfully carry out the hot testing of the 3D printed PS4 engine. 

Kadet Defence systems introduces India’s pioneering Loitering Aerial Munitions (LAM) for the armed forces

Kadet Defence systems introduces India’s pioneering Loitering Aerial Munitions (LAM) for the armed forces

  • In a significant stride towards strengthening India’s defence capabilities, Kadet Defence Systems (KDS) has emerged as the vanguard in indigenous innovation with the successful development of India’s first Loitering Aerial Munitions (LAM). 
  • Under a unique Development cum Production Partner (DCPP) model with the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), KDS has unveiled a game-changing array of cutting-edge technologies aimed at enhancing the operational efficacy of the Indian armed forces.
  • The LAM Systems, a culmination of relentless innovation and strategic collaboration, encompass a diverse range of advanced technologies. From Canister Aerial Loitering Munition (CALM) to Combat UAVs boasting stand-off capabilities for munition release, and Tactical VTOL UAVs, Kadet’s LAMs represent a paradigm shift in modern warfare.


ENVIRONMENT

Super-Earth’: Astronomers finally detect a rocky planet with an atmosphere

Super-Earth': Astronomers finally detect a rocky planet with an atmosphere

  • Astronomers using the Nasa’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) have achieved a significant milestone by detecting an atmosphere around the rocky exoplanet 55 Cancrie, which orbits a Sun-like star some 12.6 parsecs away from Earth.
  • This discovery marks the first time an atmosphere has been identified surrounding a terrestrial planet outside our Solar System.
  •  Although 55 Cancri e is inhospitable to life as we know it, largely because it is enveloped in a probable magma ocean—this finding could provide crucial insights into the early geological stages of rocky planets, including Earth, a study in journal Nature said. 
  • Infrared observations using the James Webb Space Telescope indicated the presence of a substantial atmosphere, possibly rich in carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide, along with other gases such as water vapor and sulfur dioxide.


OBITUARIES

First pig kidney transplant recipient dies two months after surgery

First pig kidney transplant recipient dies two months after surgery

  • Richard Slayman, the first individual to undergo a genetically modified pig kidney transplant, has passed away at the age of 62. Richard had undergone the transplantation in March this year.
  • Richard was suffering with end-stage kidney disease. In 2018, he had a human kidney transplant, but that was not a success, it began to fail after five years. He underwent pig kidney transplant on March 16 and post surgery he no longer required dialysis and his new organ was working well.

Former bureaucrat and educationist Moosa Raza dies at 87

Former bureaucrat and educationist Moosa Raza dies at 87

  • Moosa Raza, 87, former Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir and chairman of Southern Indian Education Trust (SIET), which runs several educational institutions in Chennai, died at a private hospital in Chennai. 
  • Mr. Raza joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1960, after passing his honours in English language and literature from the University of Madras. He served the Gujarat and Central governments in various capacities, including the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister of Gujarat and later as Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir demonstrated his administrative acumen in handling complex governance challenges.
  • In recognition of his exemplary service and contributions to society, Moosa Raza was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2010, one of India’s highest civilian honors. This prestigious accolade is a testament to his lasting impact and dedication to public welfare.
  • Apart from his illustrious bureaucratic career, Moosa Raza is also a celebrated author. His book “Of Nawabs and Nightingales” offers a glimpse into his early experiences in the Indian Administrative Service, showcasing his keen observations and insights into governance and society. He has also authored books on spirituality and personal reflections, such as “In Search of Oneness” and “Khwab-e-Natamaam” (Incomplete Dreams), showcasing his diverse literary interests and philosophical depth.

Sushil Modi, former Bihar deputy CM, passes away at 72

Sushil Modi, former Bihar deputy CM, passes away at 72

  • Former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister, Sushil Kumar Modi, passed away at the age of 72 due to cancer. 
  • Modi served as deputy to Janata Dal (United) chief and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for approximately 11 years. He emerged victorious in the Bihar assembly elections three times between 1990 and 2004.
  • From 1996 to 2004, he served as the Leader of the Opposition in the Bihar assembly. In 2003, he was appointed as BJP’s national vice president, a position he held until 2005. 


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