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Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 17th April, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 17 April 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

Delhi Airport ranked among world’s top 10 busiest airports: ACI report

Delhi Airport ranked among world’s top 10 busiest airports: ACI report

  • Delhi Airport (DEL) maintained its standing in the global top 10 busiest airports in 2023 handling over 72.2 million passengers, according to the latest ranking by the Airports Council International (ACI). IGI Airport has steadily climbed the ranks, from 17th in 2019 to 10th in 2023, showcasing consistent growth in passenger traffic over the years.
  • The ACI report highlights the dominance of US airports in the top 10 rankings, with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport maintaining its top position. Notable shifts include Dubai International Airport’s rise to second place and Tokyo Haneda International Airport’s remarkable ascent to fifth place from 16th in 2022. 
  • This showcases a steady year-on-year growth of 20.36 per cent and highlighting the strong recovery of the Indian aviation sector. Nevertheless, Delhi Airport’s ranking seems to have slightly slipped, as per ACI’s assessment, yielding its position to Chicago and potentially missing out on the 9th spot it held in 2022.
  • The top 10 airports, representing nearly 10% of global traffic, experienced a substantial 19.8% increase from 2022 or a 0.7% gain from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Ladakh Celebrates Apricot Blossom Festival In Different Parts Of Kargil And Leh Districts

Ladakh Celebrates Apricot Blossom Festival In Different Parts Of Kargil And Leh Districts

  • The Apricot Blossom Festival is organized by the Ladakh Tourism Department. It is aimed at popularizing this local tradition by inviting outsiders to partake in the celebrations with music, shopping, games and dances.
  • The festival will be held in Leh and Ladakh from April 6, 2024 to April 18, 2024. It will involve a series of daylong celebrations in different parts of the valley where people can congregate, trade products and also enjoy a cultural show that showcases the best of Ladakh.  

Longte Festival celebrated by Arunachal Pradesh’s Nyishi Tribe

Longte Festival celebrated by Arunachal Pradesh's Nyishi Tribe

  • The Nyishi tribe in Arunachal Pradesh enthusiastically celebrates the Longte festival, one of their biggest cultural events. Unlike many other tribal festivals, Longte prohibits the sacrifice of animals, instead adorning altars with decorative white feathers and bamboo decorations.
  • The Longte festival is a significant cultural event for the Nyishi tribe in Arunachal Pradesh. It is marked by its unique tradition of abstaining from animal sacrifice, opting instead for symbolic decorations using feathers and bamboo.

UP Gets the first Glass Skywalk Bridge in Chitrakoot

UP Gets the first Glass Skywalk Bridge in Chitrakoot

  • The enchanting Tulsi (Shabari) waterfall in Chitrakoot is now home to the first glass skywalk bridge in Uttar Pradesh. The awe-inspiring bridge, fashioned to resemble Lord Rama’s bow and arrow, was constructed in the Kodand forest area at a cost of Rs 3.70 crore
  • The Forest and Tourism Department, along with the Pawan Sut Construction Company of Ghazipur, led the construction of the Glass Skywalk Bridge. Last year, the state government renamed it Tulsi Water Falls. 
  • The site’s significance as the birthplace of Goswami Tulsidas in Rajapur and the presence of Lord Shri Ram’s shrine make it a popular tourist destination.
  • The bridge’s design is nothing short of magnificent, with the arrow’s length towards the abyss measuring 25 meters and the width of the bow between the two pillars spanning 35 meters. The bridge is engineered to withstand a load capacity of 500 kg per square meter, ensuring visitors’ safety and security.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

India, Mauritius Sign Protocol To Amend Tax Treaty

India, Mauritius Sign Protocol To Amend Tax Treaty

  • India and Mauritius have signed the protocol amending their Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), which now incorporates the Principal Purpose Test ( PPT). 
  • This provision serves as a criterion to determine the eligibility of foreign investors to avail benefits under the India-Mauritius DTAA.
  • One of the highlights of this agreement is the inclusion of PPT, which will ensure that the tax avoidance benefit is only granted for transactions with a bona fide purpose. The move can be viewed as an attempt by the country to keep tabs on any treaty abuse or treaty-shopping treatment.


BANKING & FINANCE

SIDBI inks MOU with Jeevika Bihar, UMED Maharashtra to extend Prayaas to rural livelihood missions

SIDBI inks MOU with Jeevika Bihar, UMED Maharashtra to extend Prayaas to rural livelihood missions

  • Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) in association with Women’s World Banking (WWB) inked an MoU with Jeevika, Bihar State Rural Livelihoods Mission (SRLM) and UMED, Maharashtra-SRLM to extend Prayaas scheme to SHG individual women through cluster level federations (CLFs). 
  • This partnership will help in unlocking the potential of CLFs and will establish a new and scalable credit distribution ecosystem, the bank said. 
  • SIDBI in the pilot phase will partner 35-40 CLFs across Bihar and Maharashtra with a target of serving affordable credit of up to`Rs 2 lakh to 5,000 women entrepreneurs. 
  • Women’s World Banking has been collaborating with SIDBI and SRLMs to develop a market-driven solution that will provide long-term economic stability to Women-led SHG CLFs. The CLFs are acting as a partner institution with SIDBI for this project.

Fitch affirms ratings of SBI and Canara Bank at ‘BBB-‘

RBI retains repo rate at 6.5 percent for sixth consecutive time

  • Fitch affirmed the long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of both State Bank of India (SBI) and Canara Bank at ‘BBB-‘ and said the outlook looks stable. Despite variations in risk appetite and loan growth patterns, both banks exhibit adequate capacity for fulfilling their financial commitments.
  • Fitch highlights SBI’s higher-than-typical risk appetite, despite a slowdown in total loan growth. The bank’s strong financials and dominant market position underpin its stable outlook. Fitch projects improved asset quality for SBI, expecting its impaired-loan ratio to decline to 2.0% by FY25.
  • For Canara Bank, Fitch notes a resurgence in loan growth, particularly in farm and corporate sectors. However, the bank exercises caution in retail lending compared to peers, maintaining a balanced approach.
  • Both SBI and Canara Bank exhibit promising profitability prospects. SBI’s profitability continues to rise, driven by improved operating profit ratios and effective management of impairment charges. Canara Bank’s operating profit ratio has also increased, and despite expected margin pressure, Fitch believes it can maintain profitability levels in line with forecasts.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Tech firms TCS, Accenture, Cognizant lead LinkedIn’s top large companies list

Tech firms TCS, Accenture, Cognizant lead LinkedIn's top large companies list

  • Tata Consultancy Services has topped the LinkedIn’s latest list of top companies to work for in India, followed by Accenture and Cognizant in the second and third place respectively. 
  • Professional networking platform LinkedIn released the 2024 Top Companies list for India wherein IT companies bagged the top three ranks, while financial services firms dominated the list with 9 out of 25 companies from this sector.
  • The 8th edition has derived insights from LinkedIn data, and lists the top 25 large companies, 15 best mid-size companies, and provides insights on in-demand skills, top locations, and the largest job functions within these companies.

UNCTAD sees India’s GDP growth slip to 6.5% in 2024 vs 6.7% in 2023: ‘RBI likely to keep interest rates constant’

 UNCTAD sees India's GDP growth slip to 6.5% in 2024 vs 6.7% in 2023: ‘RBI likely to keep interest rates constant’ The United Nations Trade and Development (UNCTAD) projected that Indian economy's growth momentum will most likely decelerate in 2024 to 6.5% against the 6.7% growth recorded in the previous year. The report states, “The expansion in 2023 was driven by strong public investment outlays as well as the vitality of the services sector, which benefitted from robust local demand for consumer services and firm external demand for the country’s business services exports. These factors are expected to continue to support growth in 2024. Thus, the factors that assisted the economy's growth by in 2023 will help the economy achieve a similar growth rate in the fiscal year 2024-25. The latest report released on April 16, revised India’s growth forecast by 0.3 percentage points.

  • The United Nations Trade and Development (UNCTAD) projected that Indian economy’s growth momentum will most likely decelerate in 2024 to 6.5% against the 6.7% growth recorded in the previous year. 
  • The report states, “The expansion in 2023 was driven by strong public investment outlays as well as the vitality of the services sector, which benefitted from robust local demand for consumer services and firm external demand for the country’s business services exports. These factors are expected to continue to support growth in 2024. 
  • Thus, the factors that assisted the economy’s growth by in 2023 will help the economy achieve a similar growth rate in the fiscal year 2024-25. The latest report released on April 16, revised India’s growth forecast by 0.3 percentage points. 

India rate cuts ‘off the table’ in FY25, says Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley

  • Interest rate cuts in India are “off the table” in fiscal year 2024/25 given the change in the Federal Reserve’s policy path and strong growth in the South Asian nation, analysts at Morgan Stanley said. 
  • With India’s key policy rate expected to be steady at 6.5% in the financial year ending March 31, real rates should average 200 basis points (bps). 
  • India’s rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee kept the key repo rate unchanged for a seventh straight meeting earlier this month after having raised it by a total of 250 basis points between May 2022 and February 2023.
  • The central bank seeks to ensure inflation aligns durably and sustainably to its 4% target. India’s strong growth trend, driven by capex and productivity, implies interest rates could be higher for longer, Morgan Stanley said.

IMF Raises India’s GDP Growth Projection To 6.8% For FY 2024-25

Morgan Stanley

  • The International Monetary Fund, IMF, raised India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth projection to 6.8 percent for the financial year (FY) 2024-25. In its update to the World Economic Outlook, the IMF has raised 30 basis points from its January forecast of 6.5 percent.
  • In its report the IMF said, Growth in India is projected to remain strong at 6.8 percent in FY 2024-25, and 6.5 percent in FY 2025-26 with the robustness reflecting continuing strength in domestic demand and a rising working-age population. It also said that the Global growth, estimated at 3.2 percent in 2023, is projected to continue at the same pace in FY 2024-25 and FY 2025-26.
  • With this, India continues to be the fastest growing economy of the world, ahead of China’s growth projection of 4.6 percent during the same period.

India’s Exports Estimate To Reach 776.68 Billion Dollars In Financial Year 2023-24

FTA with Peru to help India expand foot-print in LatAm

  • India’s overall exports are estimated to reach 776.68 billion dollars in financial year 2023-24, surpassing last year’s highest record. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry said that the overall exports in the preceding financial year, 2022-23, was 776.40 Billion dollars. 
  • The Ministry added that overall imports in the financial year 2023-24 are estimated to be 854.80 Billion dollars, exhibiting a negative growth of minus 4.81 per cent compared to the preceding financial year. 
  • It further said that the overall trade deficit is estimated to significantly improve by 35.77 percent, from 121.62 Billion dollars in financial year 2022-23 to 78.12 Billion dollars in financial year 2023-24.


SPORTS

Rohit Sharma becomes first Indian to hit 500 sixes in T20 cricket

Rohit Sharma becomes first Indian to hit 500 sixes in T20 cricket

  • India and Mumbai Indians star batter Rohit Sharma became the first Indian to smash 500 sixes in T20 cricket. With these sixes, Rohit’s six tally has gone up to 502 sixes. The ‘Hitman’ achieved this milestone during his side’s Indian Premier League match against Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede Stadium.
  • Rohit was at his vintage best in the match, scoring 105* in 63 balls. His knock was studded with 11 boundaries and five sixes. Amid the fall of wickets around him, the former Mumbai Indians skipper held the fort at one end, blazing away at a strike rate of 166.67.
  • The highest number of sixes in T20 cricket is by West Indies legend Chris Gayle , followed by WI all-rounder Kieron Pollard , Andre Russell and Colin Munro.

Ekta Vishnoi, 50, Wins Medals In National Powerlifting Championship

 

Ekta Vishnoi, 50, Wins Medals In National Powerlifting Championship

  • Usually, people start thinking about early retirement at the age of 50, Ekta Vishnoi, Deputy Director General at Sports Authority of India (SAI), a senior woman bureaucrat in Delhi has demonstrated that age is just a number when it comes to fitness and that excellence has no connection with how old you are. 
  • Vishnoi, the woman behind the now well established Fit India Movement, is breaking records and winning medals as if to show the world that determination and hardwork is the key to success and age does not matter.
  • Vishnoi, who is 50 years old, battled against females half her age and earned a Bronze overall, a Silver in the deadlift with a top lift of 165 kg, a Bronze in the squat, and a Bronze in the bench press with a best lift of 132.5 kg. She also shattered every Master 2 category record in the competition with these lifts. 
  • Earlier, the 50-year-old had also won the gold medal in national masters powerlifting championship and a gold and a silver medal in Commonwealth Powerlifting Championship and Asian Powerlifting Championship, 2022. 


APPOINTMENTS

SPACE India welcomes Bollywood’s millennial star Sanjana Sanghi as its Brand Ambassador

millennial star Sanjana Sanghi

  • SPACE India has appointed Bollywood’s millennial star Sanjana Sanghi as its Brand Ambassador. Sanjana Sanghi is a rising young Bollywood star and UNDP Youth Champion. Her commitment to social activism and advocacy for education make her the ideal fit for this role at SPACE India and SPACE Arcade. 
  • As the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) formulates the narrative of space sector advancement and captures the imagination with ambitious space missions, SPACE India serves the purpose of fueling curiosity while inculcating scientific temperament at grassroots level through education in Astronomy and Space Science.
  • Founded in 2001, SPACE India has inspired over 1.5 Million students and facilitated the integration of Astronomy and Space Science into the curriculum of 1,000 schools pan India, nurturing a new generation of space enthusiasts and scholars. 

BharatPe elevates Nalin Negi as full-time CEO

BharatPe elevates Nalin Negi as full-time CEO

  • Fintech firm BharatPe said it has elevated its interim CEO and chief financial officer Nalin Negi as full-time chief executive officer. Negi was given charge of interim CEO in January 2023 after then CEO Suhail Sameer stepped down from the post.
  • His extensive experience in the fintech industry and the growth witnessed for BharatPe under his leadership, makes him a natural choice to lead the company. 
  • Negi joined BharatPe in 2022, with over 28 years of experience in building and scaling businesses in the fintech and banking domains.

Raveendran takes over daily operations at Byju’s, India CEO Arjun Mohan exits

Raveendran takes over daily operations at Byju’s, India CEO Arjun Mohan exits

  • Embattled Think and Learn Pvt Ltd, the parent firm of Byju’s, announced a major reorganisation with Founder and Group CEO Byju Raveendran taking “a more hands-on approach in spearheading the daily operations” of the company.
  • Simultaneously, Byju’s India CEO Arjun Mohan will now exit to an external advisory role, lending his “deep edtech expertise to the company and its founders during this transformation phase”.
  • The company which also claimed to receive a majority 55% shareholder approval to increase the authorised share capital for its $200-million rights issue is rejigging its business structure under which the firm will be consolidating its business into three focused divisions independently run by separate leaders.

Kuwait’s Emir Appoints Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah As New Prime Minister Of Kuwait

Kuwait’s Emir Appoints Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah As New Prime Minister Of Kuwait

  • Kuwait’s Emir has appointed Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah al-Ahmad al-Sabah as the new prime minister of Kuwait. This decision follows the resignation of former Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah. 
  • Sheikh Mohammad submitted his cabinet’s resignation on April 6, following the election of a new parliament on April 4. His resignation was a procedural move after a new parliament was elected.
  • The new prime minister Sheikh Ahmad is a Kuwaiti economist and has served as Minister of Finance and Communications from 1999 to 2005, before serving as Minister of Health, Minister of oil and Minister of Information from 2006 to 2011.


AWARDS

MHU University, Karnal Honoured With Best Horticulture University Award

MHU University, Karnal Honoured With Best Horticulture University Award

  • Maharana Pratap Horticultural University (MHU), Karnal, has been honoured with the prestigious Best Horticulture University Award. 
  • This accolade was bestowed by ‘Krishi Vyapaar Shikhar Sammelan and Puraskar  Sanstha’ at an event in Hyderabad, underscoring MHU’s exemplary contributions to  the remarkable advancements in horticulture. 
  • The spokesperson said that the biggest achievement in recent times has been in research on biological micro-organisms. MHU has identified many good microbial-related bio-inputs. 
  • These can be successfully used in the field of horticulture to produce safe and quality crops. For example, their use will reduce the need for chemical fertilisers by 20 to 25 percent in the fields. Due to these achievements, the ‘Krishi Vyapaar Shikhar Sammelan and Puraskar Sanstha’ have honoured MHU by awarding it the Best Horticulture University Award.

Kamath brothers, Bansals India’s youngest billionaires, according to Forbes

Kamath brothers, Bansals India's youngest billionaires, according to Forbes

  • Zerodha founders Nithin and Nikhil Kamath, and Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal are the youngest billionaires in India, according to the Forbes Billionaires List 2024.
  • Nikhil Kamath continues to be India’s youngest billionaire at 37, with a net worth of $3.1 billion. His assets graph has only grown in the last one year.
  • Binny Bansal, who founded Flipkart with Sachin Bansal in 2007 as an online seller of books, has a net worth of $1.4 billion. Sachin Bansal, 42, holds assets worth $1.2 billion.
  • Reliance Industries boss Mukesh Ambani continues to be the richest Indian, with a net worth of $116 billion. He is also the sixth richest person in the world. His company deals across an array of sectors — petrochemicals, oil and gas, telecom, retail and financial services.
  • Renuka Jagtiani, chairwoman of Dubai-headquartered retail giant Landmark Group, is among the 25 new Indian billionaires featured on the annual Forbes list of the richest people in the world.
  • This year, global music icon Taylor Swift, 34, was officially declared a billionaire by Forbes. The magazine said she is the first artist to achieve billionaire status solely on the basis of her music, and estimated she has a $1.1 billion fortune.


OBITUARIES

IAF’s Veteran Air Warrior Dalip Singh Majithia passes away at 103

IAF's Veteran Air Warrior Dalip Singh Majithia passes away at 103

  • Veteran air warrior Squadron Leader (retd) Dalip Singh Majithia, who joined the Indian Air Force during the tumultuous years of World War II and distinguished himself as a “fearless aviator” during his career, has died. He was 103.
  • He was affectionately called ‘Maji’ by his fellow air warriors. Sqn Ldr Majithia’s leadership skills were forged and tested in the crucible of war. 
  • Majithia distinguished himself as a “fearless aviator” during his career. The centenarian had “over 1,100 flying hours to his name”, including missions in aircraft such as Hurricanes and Spitfires. 


BOOKS & AUTHORS 

Beyond Binaries: The World of India and China” book by Shastri Ramachandran

Beyond Binaries: The World of India and China" book by Shastri Ramachandran

  • The book titled “Beyond Binaries: The World of India and China” written by Shastri Ramachandran has been released recently.
  • The book comes as an antithesis when it is indeed fashionable to emphasise the binaries of India and China rooted in competition and conflict. Shastri presents a convincing argument by laying out brief pieces about China, India-China relations, and their world, making the book lucid and appealing to readers interested.
  • Shastri captures both external and internal perspectives on these events between 2008 and 2022, and the book is a compilation of the various articles written during this period.

Why We Die: The New Science of Aging and the Quest for Immortality” by Venki Ramakrishnan

Why We Die: The New Science of Aging and the Quest for Immortality" by Venki Ramakrishnan

  • The book titled “Why We Die: The New Science of Aging and the Quest for Immortality” written by Nobel Prize-winning scientist Venki Ramakrishnan has been released recently. The book was published by Hachette India/Hodder & Stoughton. 
  • According to Ramakrishnan, ageing is characterised by the gradual accumulation of chemical damage to our molecules and cells over time. It initiates with minor defects, progressing to larger ones that give rise to the various health issues associated with old age, ultimately culminating in systemic failure leading to death.
  • The book delves into the issue that our lifespan is nearly double today that of individuals living a century ago. Jeanne Calment, who passed away in 1997 at the age of 122, holds the record as the oldest human with documented and reliable records. 
  • It also brings up the profound societal repercussions of significantly extending lifespan would be immense, representing a ticking time bomb. The challenges of an ageing society are already evident and growing.

VP releases the book “The Law and Spirituality: Reconnecting the Bond”

VP releases the book "The Law and Spirituality: Reconnecting the Bond"

  • The book “Law and Spirituality: Reconnecting the Bond,” edited by Professor Raman Mittal and Professor Seema Singh has been released by the Vice President, Jagdeep Dhankhar. 
  • The book’s primary focus lies in uncovering the profound spiritual underpinnings that have long shaped the development of the legal system. The editors recognize that spirituality, as the progenitor of ethics and morality, has consistently provided a guiding context for determining the validity and application of laws. 


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