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Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 15th May, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 15 May 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

Google Arts & Culture and India’s Ministry of Agriculture launch digital exhibit on millets

Google Arts & Culture and India's Ministry of Agriculture launch digital exhibit on millets

  • Google Arts & Culture and India’s Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare have joined forces to unveil a digital exhibition titled “Millets: Seeds of Change.
  • This innovative showcase celebrates the profound historical significance and burgeoning global relevance of millets, with India reigning as the world’s foremost producer of these nutritious grains. 
  • The digital exhibit casts a spotlight on the journey of millets, tracing their evolution from ancient staples to contemporary superfoods. It underscores their nutritional prowess, pivotal role in bolstering global climate resilience, and potential to tackle pressing global food security challenges.
  • The exhibition serves as a comprehensive guide to the multifaceted benefits of millets, showcasing their diverse varieties, cultivation techniques, and culinary versatility.

SAIL-Bhilai to set up Chhattisgarh’s first 15-Mw floating solar plant

SAIL-Bhilai to set up Chhattisgarh's first 15-Mw floating solar plant

  • Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) has decided to install solar power generation systems on the rooftops of various buildings in its plant premises and township in Bhilai.
  • The flagship unit of the country’s largest steel maker Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), BSP, has recently signed a memorandum of understanding(MoU) with the Chhattisgarh State Renewable Energy Development Agency (CREDA) for the solar power generation project within the unit’s premises.
  • The proposed plan shall generate about 2 MW of electricity. Besides, a project of rooftop solar energy systems installation on residences and offices in the township is also underway, which has the potential to generate about 3 MW of electricity. 


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Dubai launches ‘Long-Term Gaming Visa’ to Entice Content Creators

Dubai launches 'Long-Term Gaming Visa' to Entice Content Creators

  • To make Dubai a global gaming hub, Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has announced a Gaming Visa to attract 30,000 game developers by 2033.
  • The ‘Dubai Gaming Visa’ is part of the multi-year cultural visa categories granted by Dubai Culture and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.
  • The gaming visa will made available for game developers, designers, programmers and content creators. Applicant must be at least 25 years old. He/She must also possess documents including identity proof, a resume, and evidence of relevant work experience.
  • To start the process, potential applicants must submit their applications through Dubai’s official visa processing platforms. While the length of the tenure varies, it is generally streamlined to ensure efficiency, and to attract top talent as quickly as possible.


BANKING & FINANCE

Zomato to surrender RBI licence to operate as online payment aggregator

Zomato to surrender RBI licence to operate as online payment aggregator

  • Food tech major Zomato said its subsidiary Zomato Payment Pvt Ltd (ZPPL) has decided to voluntarily surrender the certificate of authorisation it obtained from the Reserve Bank to operate as an online payment aggregator.
  • The development comes months after the company received the licence from the central bank to operate as an online payment aggregator, with effect from January 24, 2024.
  • Zomato said the Board of Directors of ZPPL has also decided to withdraw the application dated November 11, 2021 submitted with the RBI to operate as the issuer of pre-paid payment instruments.

Quant MF gets RBI nod to hike stake in RBL Bank

Quant MF gets RBI nod to hike stake in RBL Bank

  • The Reserve Bank has allowed Quant Mutual Fund to hike its stake in RBL Bank to 9.98 per cent, according to a regulatory filing. 
  • As of May 10, Quant MF through its various schemes owned 4.68 per cent equity share capital in the private sector lender.
  • The approval granted recently is subject to certain conditions and provisions under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, among others. The shareholding has to be increased by May 12, 2025, it said.

Tata AIG General Insurance partners Aurm for its vault services

  • Aurm, an asset protection firm has announced a strategic partnership with Tata AIG General Insurance, to provide comprehensive insurance coverage to its customers for their valuables.
  • Under this partnership, Aurm’s vaults will be fully insured for up to Rs 2.5 million, courtesy of TATA AIG, India’s leading general insurance provider.
  • Aurm partners with banks and real estate companies to offer state-of-the-art safe deposit storage facilities that are fully automated and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Aurm vaults are equipped with military grade security infrastructure, active surveillance and intrusion detection systems.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

India’s retail inflation eases slightly in April, surge in food prices continues

Retail Inflation eases to 5.09 per cent in February, 2024

  • India’s retail inflation rate eased slightly in April, partly due to lower fuel prices, although food prices remained elevated, government data showed. Annual retail inflation in April was 4.83%, down from 4.85% in March. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast April retail inflation at 4.80%.
  • Food inflation, which accounts for nearly half of the overall consumer price basket, rose 8.70% in April, compared with a 8.52% rise in the previous month. Food inflation has been accelerating at more than 8% year-on-year since November 2023.
  • The inflation rate for cereals was 8.63%, compared with 8.37% in the previous month and pulses rose 16.84%, compared with 17.71% in March. Vegetable prices rose 27.8% in the month of April.

Hero MotoCorp joins ONDC, says want to enhance reach and convenience

Hero MotoCorp joins ONDC, says want to enhance reach and convenience

  • Two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp said it has joined the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to enhance reach and convenience and provide an easily accessible digital mode to customers.
  • The open network will initially offer two-wheeler parts, accessories and merchandise. Customers can easily discover ‘Hero Genuine Parts’ by using any buyer apps on the network, such as Paytm and Mystore, among others, Hero MotoCorp said in a statement.
  • With this initiative, Hero MotoCorp is furthering the government’s Digital India mission and we will continue to bring in more innovation in this space.

Warburg Pincus to acquire Shriram Housing Finance for ₹4,630 crore

Warburg Pincus to acquire Shriram Housing Finance for ₹4,630 crore

  • New York-based private equity firm Warburg Pincus  will acquire Shriram Housing Finance Ltd (SHFL) in a deal valued at ₹4,630 crore for equity and convertible instruments.
  • The transaction, valued at 2.8 times Shriram Housing’s net worth, will enable Warburg to enter the burgeoning affordable housing market in the world’s fifth-largest economy.
  • This is Shriram Group’s first-ever sale. Ravi Subramanian, managing director of Shriram Housing Finance, remarked that this is Warburg’s largest acquisition in India and the largest deal in the housing finance business. The private equity firm will invest ₹1,000 Crore in equity.

Indian economy projected to expand at 6.6% in FY25, says Moody’s

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

  • Moody’s Ratings projected a 6.6% growth rate for the Indian economy in the fiscal year ending March 2025 (FY25). The forecast attributes the growth to strong credit demand and robust economic performance, which will support the profitability of non-bank finance companies (NBFCs).
  • Moody’s highlights that despite rising funding costs for NBFCs, the vigorous credit demand driven by India’s economic growth will bolster the sector’s profitability.
  • Additionally, favourable economic conditions are expected to help NBFCs maintain asset quality even as higher interest rates increase the debt burdens of their customers.

India’s retail inflation marginally eases to 4.83% in April 

India's retail inflation to remain above 5% till May: SBI Research report

  • India’s retail inflation slightly decreased to reach an 11-month low of 4.83 percent on an annual basis in April, compared to 4.85 percent recorded in the previous month, according to government data released. 
  • The figure has stayed within the tolerance range of 2-6 percent set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). According to data from the National Statistical Office (NSO), the inflation rate within the food basket increased to 8.7 percent in April, rising from 8.52 percent recorded in March. In April, the inflation rate registered a sequential increase to 0.48 percent.
  • In India, the year-on-year vegetable inflation rate was recorded at 27.80 percent, slightly lower than the 28.30 percent reported in March. Additionally, the inflation rates for cereals and pulses, which are integral components of India’s staple diet, were reported at 8.63 percent and 16.84 percent, respectively.

Index Numbers of Wholesale Price in India for the Month of April, 2024 (Base Year: 2011-12)

Index Numbers of Wholesale Price in India for the Month of April, 2024

  • India’s wholesale price index (WPI) based inflation rose to 1.26 percent for the month of April this year against 0.53 percent recorded in March 2024, as per government data released.
  • As per the release, the positive rate of inflation in April is primarily due to increase in prices of food articles, electricity, manufacture of food products, crude petroleum & natural gas and other manufacturing etc. 
  • The Wholesale Price Index measures the change in prices of goods traded by wholesale businesses. Unlike the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which tracks prices of goods and services purchased by consumers, WPI tracks factory gate prices.

Index Numbers and Annual Rate of Inflation (YoY in %)

All Commodities/Major Groups Weight (%) February 2024

Index /Inflation

March 2024 (Provisional)

Index /Inflation

April 2024 (Provisional)

Index /Inflation

All Commodities 100 151.2 / 0.2 151.8 / 0.53 153 / 1.26
I. Primary Articles 22.62 181.5 / 4.55 183.1 / 4.51 186.7 / 5.01
II. Fuel & Power 13.15 154.9 / -1.71 155.2 / -0.77 154.8 / 1.38
III. Manufactured Products 64.23 139.8 / -1.27 140.1 / -0.85 140.8 / -0.42
Food Index 24.38 178.4 / 4.14 180.1 / 4.65 183.6 / 5.52


SPORTS

Jorge Martin wins MotoGP 2024 French Grand Prix

Jorge Martin wins MotoGP 2024 French Grand Prix

  • MotoGP championship leader Jorge Martin of Pramac Racing won the French Grand Prix while Gresini Ducati’s Marc Marquez finished second with a final-lap overtake of reigning champion Francesco Bagnaia in a thrilling battle at Le Mans.
  • Bagnaia led for most of the race before pole sitter Martin regained the lead and powered to victory following an intense battle while Marquez, who started 13th on the grid, finished on the podium once again after this sprint.


APPOINTMENTS

IPS officer Nongrang becomes Meghalaya’s first woman police chief

IPS officer Nongrang becomes Meghalaya's first woman police chief

  • Senior IPS officer Idashisha Nongrang has been appointed as Meghalaya’s first woman DGP, officials said. Nongrang will replace LR Bishnoi who will retire on May 19. 
  • Nongrang, currently serving as the Director General of Meghalaya Civil Defence, has exhibited exceptional leadership qualities throughout her career. She previously served as the acting DGP in 2021, demonstrating her preparedness for the pivotal role.
  • Nongrang will serve as Meghalaya’s police chief until May 19, 2026, overseeing the state’s law enforcement agencies and ensuring the maintenance of law and order. 

Melinda French Gates to step down from Gates Foundation with $12.5 billion for her own charity

Melinda French Gates to step down from Gates Foundation with $12.5 billion for her own charity

  • Melinda French Gates, the billionaire ex-wife of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, announced that she is stepping down from her role as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 
  • She said that she will receive 12.5 billion dollars to use for her own charitable purposes as part of her agreement with her ex-husband. She is expected to spend funds in projects that address intractable problems like – closing the gender pay gap and increasing women’s political participation.
  • Gates founded the NGO together with her ex-husband Bill Gates more than 20 years ago. Gates will provide the $12.5 billion as part of an agreement made when they divorced in 2021.

Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister Upendra Yadav resigns

Nepal's Deputy Prime Minister Upendra Yadav resigns

  • Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and senior Madhesi leader Upendra Yadav tendered his resignation and his party pulled out of the government, a setback to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda-led coalition government.
  • Along with Yadav, Minister of State for Forest and Environment Dipak Karki, from the same party, has also submitted his resignation.
  • The resignation by Yadav, the Chairman of Janata Samajwadi Party Nepal (JSP-Nepal), comes a week after his party split into two groups with senior leader Ashok Rai forming a new party named Janata Samajwadi Party. The new party has been recognised by the Election Commission.


AWARDS

Hindustan Shipyard Limited’s CMD honored with ‘PSU Samarpan Award’ for Exemplary Leadership

Hindustan Shipyard Limited’s CMD honored with ‘PSU Samarpan Award’ for Exemplary Leadership

  • The Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) has been honored with the esteemed ‘PSU Samarpan Award’ by Gov Connect, an initiative by ilouge Media.
  • The award ceremony, held in Delhi, recognized the exemplary leadership of HSL’s CMD in driving the transformation of the Shipyard and inspiring countless individuals within the industry.
  • The ‘PSU Samarpan Award’ acknowledges the significant contributions of Public Sector Undertakings to the country’s progress. CMD, HSL, received the award in the ‘Other PSU’ category, alongside other CPSEs such as Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and IRCON International Ltd in the Navratna category, and Braithwaite & Co Ltd, Bridge & Roof Company (India) Ltd, HSCC (India) Ltd, KIOCL Ltd, Instruments Ltd, Consultants India Ltd, and WAPCOS in the Miniratna category. 

Nitu Joshi of MIAM NGO Receives Best Social Worker Award at Newsmakers Achievers 

Nitu Joshi of MIAM NGO Receives Best Social Worker Award at Newsmakers Achievers 

  • Organized by Vaidehi Taman, the 16th Newsmakers Achievers Award ceremony celebrated the exceptional contributions of individuals across various domains. Among the esteemed awardees was social worker Nitu Joshi, recognized for her outstanding dedication to social welfare initiatives.
  • Nitu Joshi, a prominent figure in the realm of social service, was conferred with the prestigious title of Best Social Worker at the event. Her commendable efforts over the past two years under the aegis of MIAM Charitable Trust have significantly impacted the lives of tribal and farmer communities in the Nashik region. By distributing free study materials to children and facilitating educational opportunities, she has enabled numerous youngsters to pursue their aspirations, with one student even clearing the UPSC examination.
  • The MIAM Charitable Trust, under Nitu Joshi’s leadership, epitomizes a beacon of hope for orphaned children and marginalized communities. With a steadfast commitment to fostering positive change in society, Nitu Joshi continues to serve as an inspiration for altruistic endeavors.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Indian Air Force tests BHISHM portable hospital for airdrop in Agra

Indian Air Force tests BHISHM portable hospital for airdrop in Agra

  • The Indian Air Force tested BHISHM portable cubes at Agra for airdrops from the aircraft. This is the first time the Indian Air Force tested this portable hospital. This test was performed so that the portable hospital can be deployed to cater to emergencies anywhere.
  • As per the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, BHISHM portable cubes are a part of the broader initiative named “Project BHISHM” – Bharat Health Initiative for Sahyog, Hita and Maitri, which is tailored to treat up to 200 casualties, emphasising rapid response and comprehensive care. 
  • Notably, the Aid Cube is equipped with several innovative tools designed to enhance disaster response and medical support during emergencies. It also integrates Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data analytics to facilitate effective coordination, real-time monitoring, and efficient management of medical services in the field.

ISRO Chief Somanath unveils Zero Emission initiative of SFO Technologies

ISRO Chief Somanath unveils Zero Emission initiative of SFO Technologies

  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman and Secretary, Department of Space, Government of India, S Somanath unveiled the carbon reduction initiative of SFO Technologies, the flagship company of the NeST Group. 
  • Besides planting a sapling at the first private SEZ in India, NeST HiTek Park to mark the occasion, he also unveiled a replica of Chandrayaan at the campus highlighting the cooperation of SFO Technologies and ISRO.
  • The Carbon Reduction initiative of SFO Technologies and the NeST Group follows the United Nations’ objective of achieving a 50 percent reduction by 2035 and zero emissions by 2040. The Indian space sector is poised to become a USD 9-10 billion business in the next 5-10 years from the current levels of USD 2 billion. 
  • Mr. Somanath said 400 enterprises in the country have benefited from the technologies developed by ISRO for its various missions and companies like SFO Technologies are well positioned to take further advantage of the new policy initiatives in the space sector by the government of India.

NASA plans to develop first railway systems on moon, here’s full update

NASA plans to develop first railway systems on moon, here's full update

  • American Space Agency NASA is planning to develop the first lunar railway system for efficient payload transportation on the Moon.
  • NASA shared an official blog post mentioning the long-lasting robotic transport system which will play a major role in the daily operations of a sustainable lunar base envisioned for the 2030s. This lunar railway system is part of NASA’s Moon to Mars initiative and mission concepts such as the Robotic Lunar Surface Operations 2 (RLSO2).
  • There is a need for a solution to transport regolith mined for ISRU consumables (H20, LOX, LH2) or construction materials, as well as moving payloads around the lunar base and to/from landing zones or other outposts.


ENVIRONMENT

Sikkim flood was one of Asia’s worst climate disasters in 2023

Sikkim flood was one of Asia’s worst climate disasters in 2023

  • A glacial lake outburst flood in Sikkim in October 2023 led to the collapse of the Teesta III hydroelectric dam, killed more than 100 people, and affected thousands of others. And according to the World Meteorological Organisations ‘State of the Climate Asia 2023’ report, published in April, it was one of the worst climate-related disasters to have occurred on the continent last year.
  • A body of water influenced by glaciers is called a glacial lake. As glaciers move, they erode the land underneath and the debris of rocks and soil scraped from the land from ridges called moraines. Glacial lakes are mostly on the margins of glaciers and evolve from ice-contact lakes, where the lake is in touch with the ice into distal lakes as the glaciers retreat.
  • The High-Mountain Asia region, centred on the Tibetan plateau, holds the largest volume of ice outside the polar regions. Satellite images in the aftermath from the National Remote Sensing Centre suggested around 1 sq. km of the glacier-fed lake had been drained, compared to its volume on September 28.


IMPORTANT DAYS

UN Proclaims 25th May As World Football Day

UN Proclaims 25th May As World Football Day

  • The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 25th May as the World Football Day, by adopting a resolution during the 80th plenary meeting of the General Assembly in New York. 
  • The year 2024 marks the 100th anniversary of the first international football tournament in history with the representation of all regions as part of the 1924 Summer Olympic Games, held in Paris. The resolution was passed unanimously by the 193-member General Assembly.

Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd celebrates 250th Foundation Day

Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd celebrates 250th Foundation Day

  • Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) is celebrating its 250th Foundation Day on May 14, 2024. To mark the day, a series of events were organised in Mumbai, presided over by Defence Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane. 
  • To mark this occasion of immense significance MDL organized a series of events including inauguration of adjacent land acquired from MPA, launch of prototype of indigenous midget submarine ‘Arowana’, commissioning of Solar Electric Hybrid boat, release of MDL’s Commemorative Coin which marks the 250 years completed and conducting a daylong technical seminar.
  • The Defence Secretary formally inaugurated the contiguous piece of land acquired from the Mumbai Port Authority. This facility would be developed for simultaneous construction & outfitting of New Builds, Repairs / Refits of various types of vessels.
  • MDL has successfully completed platform design and hull of the midget submarine named ‘Arowana’ which was launched by Defence Secretary. MDL has been building submarines since 1984 with foreign design. 
  • The Defence secretary also commissioned the Solar Electric Hybrid boat with top speed of 11 Knots designed and co-developed with indigenous technology partner. The running cost is almost 1/10th of a diesel boat and also has a very low maintenance cost.
  • In addition, a 24 pax Fuel Cell Electric Ferry named “SUCHI”, conceptualized by MDL & co-developed with indigenous technology partner, was also commissioned by the Defence Secretary. 
  • Shri Aramane also inaugurated the Technical Seminar on “Emerging Technologies and Future of Shipbuilding”. To commemorate 250 years of MDL’s existence, the Defence Secretary also released a coin, issued by RBI, crafted to honor the rich history & enriching legacy of MDL. 


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