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Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 21st May, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 21 May 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

FSSAI warns traders, food businesses against use of calcium carbide for artificial fruit ripening during mango season

FSSAI warns traders, food businesses against use of calcium carbide for artificial fruit ripening during mango season

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a stern reminder to fruit traders, handlers, and Food Business Operators (FBOs) managing ripening chambers to adhere strictly to the prohibition of using calcium carbide for artificial fruit ripening. 
  • This alert comes at a critical time, particularly during the mango season, to safeguard public health and ensure compliance with the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011.
  • Calcium carbide, often used for ripening fruits like mangoes, releases acetylene gas containing harmful traces of arsenic and phosphorus, also referred to as ‘Masala’. These substances pose severe health risks, including dizziness, frequent thirst, irritation, weakness, difficulty in swallowing, vomiting, and skin ulcers. Additionally, acetylene gas poses hazards to handlers, with potential for direct contact with fruits, leaving dangerous residues. 
  • Additionally, the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIB & RC) has approved Ethephon 39% SL for uniform ripening of mangoes and other fruits, offering a safer alternative.

Disaster management platform launched in Assam

Disaster management platform launched in Assam

  • The Disaster Reporting and Information Management System (DRIMS), a digital platform for online reporting of damages incurred during various disasters, was launched by Assam Chief Secretary Dr Ravi Kota. 
  • DRIMS is a state-of-the-art initiative of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), for accurate reporting and assessment of damages caused by disasters, and disbursal of aid to those affected.
  • This platform, developed in collaboration with UNICEF, efficiently captures critical impact indicators of damages during disasters, which helps to deliver relief and rehabilitation grants expeditiously to the affected beneficiaries.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Receives First Stamp Released Commemorating Completion Of 200 Years Of Indian Origin Tamils In Sri Lanka

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Receives First Stamp Released Commemorating Completion Of 200 Years Of Indian Origin Tamils In Sri Lanka

  • Indian spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar received the first stamp released commemorating the completion of 200 years of Indian Origin Tamils in Sri Lanka. Governor of the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka Senthil Thondaman presented the stamp to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. 
  • Mr. Thondaman said the stamp is a way to attain recognition for the community which has been neglected for decades. He thanked the Indian government as well as the Sri Lankan government for the assistance given to the IOT community.


BANKING & FINANCE

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank becomes eligible for universal banking license

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank becomes eligible for universal banking license

  • Due to the stringent asset quality norms set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Ujjivan Small Finance Bank meets the eligibility criteria to apply for a universal banking licence.
  • Ujjivan Small Finance Bank has met all the criteria established by the regulatory authority. The bank’s gross non-performing assets ratio stood below 3% and net NPA ratio below 1% for two consecutive years, making it entitled to apply for a licence.

Emirates NBD Join hands with Pine Labs to Revamp Payment Solutions in MENAT Region

Emirates NBD Join hands with Pine Labs to Revamp Payment Solutions in MENAT Region

  • Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey (MENAT) region, has partnered with Pine Labs, a prominent merchant commerce omnichannel platform. 
  • This collaboration aims to provide companies across the region with the latest and best payment solutions, significantly enhancing digital payment systems for both online and in-store transactions.
  • As part of its ambitious growth plans, Emirates NBD is leveraging Pine Labs’ Credit+ platform to offer its corporate and institutional clients state-of-the-art merchant acquiring processing solutions. The rollout will begin in the UAE and subsequently extend to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Egypt. 

Bank of Maharashtra tops among PSU banks in business growth in FY24

Bank of Maharashtra tops among PSU banks in business growth in FY24

  • State-owned Bank of Maharashtra recorded the highest growth rate last fiscal in terms of total business and deposit mobilisation among public sector lenders at a time when most banks are facing difficulty in achieving double-digit growth.
  • The Pune-headquartered lender has registered a 15.94 per cent rise in the total business (domestic) in FY24, followed by State Bank of India (SBI) with 13.12 per cent growth, according to published financial numbers of the public sector banks (PSBs).
  • BoM continued to maintain its top spot in terms of growth in deposit mobilisation, with a 15.66 per cent rise in FY24. It was followed by SBI (11.07 per cent), Bank of India (11.05 per cent) and Canara Bank (10.98 per cent). Out of 12 public sector banks, only these four lenders could log a double-digit growth in deposits in the financial year 2023-24.
  • In terms of low-cost CASA deposits, the Bank of Maharashtra continued to top the chart with 52.73 per cent growth, followed by the Central Bank of India with a 50.02 per cent rise at the end of March 2024.
  • With regard to loan growth, the Kolkata-based UCO Bank was a tad higher at 16.38 per cent, followed by BoM at 16.30 per cent. SBI also reported 16.26 per cent growth in advances in FY24.
  • In terms of capital adequacy ratio, the Bank of Maharashtra was leading PSBs at 17.38 per cent, followed by Indian Overseas Bank at 17.28 per cent and Punjab & Sind Bank at 17.16 at the end of FY24.

SBI Mutual Fund launches automotive opportunities fund 

SBI Mutual Fund launches automotive opportunities fund 

  • SBI Mutual Fund announced the launch of SBI Automotive Opportunities Fund, an open-ended equity scheme that aims to unlock the potential of automotive and allied business activities. The new fund offer (NFO) opened for subscription, May 17, and will close on May 31.
  • The fund’s investment universe includes original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), auto component manufacturers, electric mobility and companies with auto export potential. The fund house, meanwhile, claims that this is an indicative list.
  • This is a thematic mutual fund which is aimed at generating long-term capital appreciation for unit holders from a portfolio of equity and equity-related instruments of companies engaged in automotive and allied business activities. 

Govt will receive 30% more dividend from public sector banks in FY24

Govt will receive 30% more dividend from public sector banks in FY24

  • The government will get about 30 per cent more dividends from public sector banks (PSBs) in FY24 vis-a-vis FY23 due to handsome payouts declared by them on the back of strong financial performance.
  • A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that PSBs will pay dividends aggregating ₹18,013 crore to the government in FY24 against ₹13,804 crore in the preceding financial year.
  • This calculation does not take into account the 15 per cent dividend distribution tax as the same also goes to the government. Out of 12 PSBs, 10 have declared dividends.
  • The top four PSBs to pay rich dividends (relative to face value) in FY24 are – State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda (BoB), Canara Bank and Indian Bank. Central Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank did not declare dividend.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

DP World opens free trade warehouse zone in Chennai

DP World opens free trade warehouse zone in Chennai

  • Dubai’s DP World, a global provider of supply chain solutions, announced the launch of operations at Integrated Chennai Business Park, the company’s free trade warehouse zone (FTWZ) at Manali, about 30 km north of Chennai.
  • The Chennai facility is the company’s second FTWZ in India after the one in Mumbai, which is 18 months old, said Ranjit Ray, Vice President-Economic Zones, Middle East, North Africa, and Subcontinent. The third, inside the Kochi Port container terminal, which is operated by DP World, will be ready soon, he told mediapersons at the facility in Manali.
  • The unit in Chennai is the largest of the three, at 125 acres and 2 million sq ft of warehouse space; in Mumbai it is 85 acres (also 2 million sq ft) and in Kochi 10 acres (0.2 million sq ft). 

Govt recovers Rs 852 crore under amnesty scheme for exporters

India Registers Record Export At USD 778 Billion In 2023-24

  • The government has recovered about Rs 852 crore under the amnesty scheme for exporters for one-time settlement of default in export obligation by the holders of advance and EPCG authorisations. 
  • The figures are likely to increase further as the exercise is on for the compilation of the data. The government has fixed March 31 as the last date for payment of customs duty plus interest.
  • Under the scheme, 6,705 applications were filed and as per the provisional figures, an amount of about Rs 852 crore has been recovered. This figure is further expected to increase. 

RXIL TReDS Surpasses INR 1Trillion (1 Lakh Crore) in Invoice Financing for MSMEs

RXIL TReDS Surpasses INR 1Trillion (1 Lakh Crore) in Invoice Financing for MSMEs

  • RXIL TReDS Surpasses INR 1Trillion (1 Lakh Crore) in Invoice Financing for MSMEs. MSME contributing over 30% to GDP, faces estimated credit gap of around Rs.28.2 lakh crores. 
  • RXIL’s Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) platform has achieved a milestone by facilitating financing of over 50 lakh invoices worth ₹1,00,000 crore since its inception. 
  • This milestone underscores the platform’s role in providing accessible working capital financing solutions to MSMEs, crucial for economic growth and India’s journey towards achieving a Rs. 5 trillion economy.
  • In fiscal year 2024, RXIL witnessed exponential growth in monthly invoice financing volumes, currently enabling financing of over INR 6,000 crores monthly. With a target of financing INR 75,000 crore worth of invoices in FY 25, RXIL aims to further elevate its performance, demonstrating its commitment to fostering the growth and prosperity of MSMEs nationwide.


SPORTS

Scotland cricket team unveils T20 World Cup jersey with Nandini dairy brand logo

Scotland cricket team unveils T20 World Cup jersey with Nandini dairy brand logo

  • The management of the Scotland cricket team unveiled its jersey with a logo of Karnataka’s home-grown Nandini dairy for the upcoming T20 World Cup. 
  • The Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) that runs the Nandini brand is the official sponsor of the Scotland team, and this is the first time the milk brand has gone international.
  • The brand name and logo that was written in Kannada was seen on the sleeves of players’ T shirts that were launched. 
  • Nandini is also an official sponsor of the Ireland cricket team, which will play in the T20 World Cup, which is scheduled for the West Indies and the United States of America.

YAI Senior National Championship 2024 held in Mumbai

YAI Senior National Championship 2024 held in Mumbai

  • The Yachting Association of India (YAI) Senior National Championship 2024 concluded after intense competition at the Indian Naval Watermanship Training Centre (INWTC) in Mumbai
  • The championship featured all eight Olympic classes of boats and attracted 82 participants from 10 sailing clubs nationwide. A total of 94 races, including four medal races, determined the champions.
  • Vice Admiral Sanjay J Singh, AVSM, NM, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, WNC presided over the closing ceremony held at INWTC (Mumbai) and presented medals to the winners. Teams from Army and Navy combined won the largest medal haul.

Australia and Uzbekistan confirmed as 2026 and 2029 AFC Women’s Asian Cup hosts

Australia and Uzbekistan confirmed as 2026 and 2029 AFC Women's Asian Cup hosts

  • Australia and Uzbekistan have been confirmed as the hosts of the 2026 and 2029 editions of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup respectively, the Asian Football Confederation said. 
  • The AFC Executive Committee ratified the AFC Women’s Football Committee’s recommendations at its third meeting held in Bangkok, Thailand. 
  • Australia will host the continent’s premier women’s national team competition for the second time in history, having staged the 2006 edition.Uzbekistan will become the first Central Asian nation to organize the tournament.


APPOINTMENTS

RBI approves appointment of Pradeep Natarajan as IDFC FIRST Bank’s Whole Time Director

RBI approves appointment of Pradeep Natarajan as IDFC FIRST Bank's Whole Time Director

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved Mr. Pradeep Natarajan’s joining IDFC FIRST Bank Ltd. as Whole Time Director Mr. Natarajan will serve a three-year term in this role.
  • The bank further said it will take the necessary steps to complete the formalities for the appointment of Natarajan as Executive Director.


AWARDS

Gopi Thotakura makes history, becomes 1st Indian to go to space as tourist

Gopi Thotakura makes history, becomes 1st Indian to go to space as tourist

  • Indian expatriate Gopi Thotakura made history as the first Indian space tourist and the second Indian to venture into space, joining the crew for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin’s NS-25 mission.
  • Blue Origin successfully completed its seventh human spaceflight and the 25th flight for the New Shepard program. 
  • Gopi Thotakura was one of six crew members. The astronaut crew also included Mason Angel, Sylvain Chiron, Kenneth L. Hess, Carol Schaller, and former Air Force Captain Ed Dwight. Dwight was selected by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 as the nation’s first black astronaut candidate but never had the opportunity to fly. 


ENVIRONMENT

Scientists discover “super fluffy” exoplanet with cotton candy-like density

Scientists discover "super fluffy" exoplanet with cotton candy-like density

  • Researchers have discovered a “super fluffy” exoplanet, 50 per cent larger than Jupiter and weighing only a seventh of it, giving it a “cotton candy”-like density.
  • The new, “fluffy” planet has been named ‘WASP-193b’ and was found to be located about 1,200 light years away from Earth, roughly equivalent to 10,800 trillion kilometres. Exoplanets exist outside the solar system and help us understand a bit more about how the universe works.
  • The international team of researchers said that the exoplanet is the second least dense planet discovered and its extremely low density makes it a “real anomaly” among the more than five thousand exoplanets discovered to date. 

Venezuela becomes the first nation to lose all of its glaciers

Venezuela becomes the first nation to lose all of its glaciers

  • Venezuela is the first modern country to lose all of its glaciers, after the Latin American country lost its last remaining glacier on the Pico Humboldt peak was downgraded by climate scientists as an ice field. 
  • The International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI), a scientific advocacy organisation, said the La Corona glacier was now too small to be considered as a glacier, which may spark wider concerns over the effects of climate change.
  • Venezuela had been home to six glaciers in the Sierra Nevada de Mérida mountain range, which lies at about 5,000m above sea level, but lost five of them by 2011. The Humboldt glacier was projected to last at least another decade, but scientists had been unable to monitor the site for a few years due to political turmoil in the country, according to the Guardian.


OBITUARIES

Iran President Raisi dies in helicopter crash; Mohammad Mokhber to become as interim president

Iran President Raisi dies in helicopter crash; Mohammad Mokhber to become as interim president

  • Iran’s hardline President Ebrahim Raisi tragically died in a helicopter crash in the mountainous northwestern region of Iran. Alongside President Raisi, several other significant figures were on the helicopter, all of whom are presumed dead. 
  • Ebrahim Raisi, 63, was a conservative cleric and former judiciary chief. He had a reputation for his hardline stance and was known for his involvement in severe crackdowns on political dissent. He was dubbed “the butcher” by Iran’s opposition due to his role in the execution of thousands of political prisoners in the late 1980s.
  • For the time being, First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber will take over Raisi’s duties. Mokhber is a former head of Setad, a powerful conglomerate fund that supports Khamenei’s hold on power.


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