Monday, June 24, 2024
Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 24th May, 2024

 

Daily Current Affairs 24 May 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

Project Udbhav: Indian Army revives ancient strategic wisdom from Mahabharata for modern use

Project Udbhav: Indian Army revives ancient strategic wisdom from Mahabharata for modern use

  • Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande said that the Indian Army has explored the epic battles of the Mahabharata, heroic exploits of eminent military figures and India’s rich heritage in statecraft under project Udbhav.
  • Launched last year, Project Udbhav has delved deep into ancient texts such as Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads and Arthashastra. This project has revealed substantial intellectual convergences between eminent Indian and Western scholars.
  • The project has delved deep into ancient texts such as Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads and Arthashastra, which are rooted in inter-connectedness, righteousness and ethical values. 

Sikkim Celebrates Saga Dawa Festival

Sikkim Celebrates Saga Dawa Festival

  • Sikkim is celebrating Saga Dawa, a festival that falls annually on the 15th day of the fourth month of the Northern Buddhist Calendar.
  • Saga Dawa is considered the most sacred Buddhist festival, commemorating the birth, enlightenment, and Mahaparinirvana (passing away) of Buddha Shakyamuni. This day is also known as the ‘Triple Blessed Occasion’.
  • Saga Dawa holds great significance for the Buddhist community, and its observance in Sikkim underscores the state’s deep spiritual and cultural heritage.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Delhi ranks 350 in Oxford Global Cities Index Report 2024

Delhi ranks 350 in Oxford Global Cities Index Report 2024

  • Delhi has been placed 350 in the Oxford Economics Global Cities Index 2024, making it the highest ranked Indian city. The ranking compares the world’s 1000 cities. In 2023, cities in the report accounted for 60% of global GDP and 30% of the world’s population.
  • Once again, New York achieved the highest ranking in all five categories with a score of 100, followed by London and San Jose securing the 2nd and 3rd positions, respectively.
  • Bengaluru, India’s IT hub, stood at 411, higher than the country’s financial capital Mumbai, which stood at 427. On the other hand, Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh ranked last in the index, at 1000th place. All Indian cities scored 380 in the Governance category.
  • Mumbai, the Indian city that secured the 427th rank, was actually ranked 915th in the category of quality of life. In the same category, however, Thrissur, a city in Kerala, secured the 757th position. In the category of Human Capital, Delhi managed to secure the 55th position. However, in the Economics category, Delhi secured the 108th position. In the category of Human Capital, Bengaluru secured the 179th category and in the category of Economics, the city secured the 171st rank.
  • The Index assesses over 1,000 largest cities in the world based on 5 important categories – Economics, Governance, Quality of Life, Environment, and Human Capital.

Spain Becomes 99th Member Of International Solar Alliance 

Spain Becomes 99th Member Of International Solar Alliance 

  • Spain has become the 99th member of the International Solar Alliance. Spain handed over the International Solar Alliance Instrument of Ratification during the meeting between Spain’s Ambassador to India, Jose Maria Ridao Domkinguez, and Head of Depository, Joint Secretary (ED and MER), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Abhishek Singh in New Delhi. 
  • India and France jointly launched the International Solar Alliance (ISA) during COP21 in Paris. The ISA aims to contribute to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement through the rapid and massive deployment of solar energy. 
  • At present, 119 countries are signatories to the ISA Framework Agreement, of which 99 countries have submitted the necessary instruments of ratification to become full members of the ISA. Panama becomes the 98th member to ratify the ISA. 

EU Council approves World’s First Major Artificial Intelligence Law

EU Council approves World's First Major Artificial Intelligence Law

  • The European Council has passed the AI Act, proposed first in April 2021, to harmonize regulations on artificial intelligence across the European Union (EU). Under the new law, which is set to take effect next month, AI systems are categorized based on their level of risk, with stricter regulations imposed on those deemed high-risk.
  • The new law aims to foster the development and uptake of safe and trustworthy AI systems across the EU’s single market by both private and public actors. At the same time, it aims to ensure respect of fundamental rights of EU citizens and stimulate investment and innovation on artificial intelligence in Europe.
  • The AI Act classifies AI systems into different categories depending on the risk they could pose to society and fundamental rights. ‘Low-risk systems’ are subject to minimal transparency obligations, while ‘high-risk systems’ must meet a set of requirements to access the EU market.

Three European countries recognize Palestine, Israel recalls envoys, issues stern warning

Three European countries recognize Palestine, Israel recalls envoys, issues stern warning

  • The authorities of Ireland, Spain and Norway have announced their decision to recognize Palestine as an independent state, leading Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz to issue a warning about the danger of this move. The recognition of Palestine comes against the backdrop of the devastating Israel-Hamas conflict, which has resulted in a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. 
  • Previously, 143 out of 193 UN member nations, including Russia, had recognized Palestine. However, the majority of European countries have not yet decided to recognize the state’s independence.
  • Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of Spain declared the nation’s intention to recognize Palestine, prompting a stern warning from Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz. Katz cautioned that similar actions would be taken against Spain if it proceeds with the recognition.


BANKING & FINANCE

SBI General Insurance signs bancassurance partnership with Jana Small Finance Bank to increase insurance penetration

SBI General Insurance signs bancassurance partnership with Jana Small Finance Bank to increase insurance penetration

  • SBI General Insurance, one of India’s top general insurance firms, has signed a strategic bancassurance collaboration agreement with Jana Small Finance Bank, a leading financial institution in India, to facilitate the sale of non-life insurance products.
  • Under this strategic relationship, SBI General Insurance will provide Jana Small Finance Bank customers with a comprehensive variety of general insurance products. These products will include a broad range of insurance options, such as health, personal injury, house, auto, and travel insurance. 
  • In addition, the alliance will provide commercial line insurance products such as property, marine, and engineering insurance to meet the diversified demands of businesses and enterprises.

Inflation seen closer to target in FY26: RBI’s state of the economy report

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

  • The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) state of the economy report observed that any durable alignment of headline retail inflation with the target of 4 per cent could recommence in the second half of FY25 and sustain until numbers closer to the target are seen during the course of FY26, dashing hopes of any reduction in the policy repo rate in the current financial year.
  • The report, authored by RBI staffers, including Deputy Gove­rnor in charge of monetary policy Michael Patra, said though headline numbers may fall in July and August due to base effect, it is likely to reverse in September.
  • The RBI has projected consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4.5 per cent in FY25, with Q1 at 4.9 per cent; Q2 at 3.8 per cent; Q3 at 4.6 per cent; and Q4 at 4.5 per cent.    
  • Headline inflation moderated to 4.8 per cent in April 2024 from 4.9 per cent in March as a positive momentum of 48 basis points (bps) was more than offset by a favourable base effect of 51 bps.
  • The report also said there is growing optimism about India globally, and that “India is on the cusp of a long-awaited economic take-off even if the outlook for the global economy is turning fragile as the descent of inflation is stalling, which reignited risks to global financial stability”.

RBI buys 24 tonnes of gold in 4 months, 1.5 times more than all of 2023

RBI's gold purchase highest in almost two years

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has significantly increased its gold reserves, adding 24 tonnes between January and April 2024. This move is part of a strategic diversification of reserves aimed at mitigating risks amid ongoing geopolitical tensions and economic uncertainty. This increase is almost one and a half times the 16 tonnes of gold added throughout 2023, as per an analysis of RBI data.
  • As of April 26, 2024, the RBI held 827.69 tonnes of gold as part of its foreign exchange reserves, up from 803.6 tonnes at the end of December 2023. This marked increase underscores the central bank’s proactive approach in enhancing its gold reserves, reflecting a significant shift in its reserve management strategy.
  • The RBI’s renewed interest in gold is part of a broader trend seen among emerging market central banks. The share of gold in India’s total foreign exchange reserves increased from 7.75% at the end of December 2023 to about 8.7% by the end of April 2024. This rise is not just due to the additional volume but also the valuation gains from a steady increase in gold prices.

Nippon India Mutual Fund Launches Industry-First Sonic Identity

Nippon India Mutual Fund Launches Industry-First Sonic Identity

  • Nippon Life India Asset Management Limited (NAM India), the asset manager of Nippon India Mutual Fund (NIMF), proudly announces the unveiling of its groundbreaking sonic identity – a powerful soundscape symbolizing financial freedom.
  • NIMF is the first asset management company (AMC) in India to launch its own brand sound. This innovative initiative underscores the company’s commitment to innovation and fostering deeper connections with investors.
  • Crafted by BrandMusiq, India’s leading specialist in sonic identities, NIMF’s new musical logo (MOGOSCAPE) encapsulates the core values, emotions, and persona of the organization.

IFSCA sets up committee to position GIFT CITY as global commodity trading hub

  • The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has set up an expert committee to position GIFT IFSC in Gujarat as a ‘Global Trading Hub’.
  • The 21-member committee will be chaired by former Union commerce secretary, Rajeev Kher.
  • Representatives of International Financial Services Centre Authority, DGFT, IIBX, ICICI Bank, ONGC, IOCL, Reliance Industries Limited, StoneX, NMDC, JP Morgan Chase, Tata Steel, and Arvind Limited are among the 21 members of the committee.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

NHAI’s infra trust got $217.13 mn in FY24 from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

NHAI's infra trust got $217.13 mn in FY24 from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

  • Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) said it has invested USD 217.13 million in 2023-24 in the National Highways Infra Trust (NHIT), an infrastructure investment trust sponsored by the National Highways Authority of India
  • CPP Investments said that it has invested an additional USD 394.78 million in Interise Trust (formerly IndInfravit Trust) in 2023-24 to help fund the acquisition of four operating road concessions.
  • According to the statement, it has committed USD 100 million in the last fiscal to Kedaara Capital Fund IV, which will focus on mid-market buyout and minority growth investments in India.
  • CPP Investments also committed USD 300 million in 2023-24 to an India-based asset manager that focuses on structured and private credit opportunities in the country.

IOCL exports premium fuel to Sri Lanka

IOCL exports premium fuel to Sri Lanka

  • Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) exported its first-ever consignment of 100 octane premium fuel, XP100 to Sri Lanka from the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai. The product is tailored for premium high-end vehicles.
  • This was the third time the Company was taking a product offshore, showcasing its potential to send quality products from India to the world.
  • XP100, India’s first domestically developed 100 octane petrol, leverages IndianOil’s indigenous Octamax Technology. Tailored for high-end vehicles, it offers superior anti-knock properties, enhancing engine performance, faster acceleration, smoother drivability, and improved fuel economy.


SPORTS

IOC Launches ‘Let’s Move India’ Campaign To Inspire People To Celebrate Athletes At Paris Olympics

IOC Launches ‘Let’s Move India’ Campaign To Inspire People To Celebrate Athletes At Paris Olympics

  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced the launch of ‘Let’s Move India’, an initiative to inspire people to celebrate the athletes participating in the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris. The move invites people from across the country to join the movement through a digital challenge on social media.
  • The “Let’s Move India” campaign in collaboration with Reliance Foundation and Abhinav Bindra Foundation, inviting everyone to celebrate the Olympians heading to the Paris Olympics.
  • People of all ages, regions and abilities are encouraged to recreate their favourite athlete celebrations, or create their own, aiming to inspire and celebrate the Olympians heading to the Games. 

Magnus Carlsen conquers Casablanca Chess 2024

Magnus Carlsen conquers Casablanca Chess 2024

  • The world No 1, Magnus Carlsen (Europe)won the Casablanca Chess Variant tournament with 4.5 points from six rounds at Casablanca, Morocco.
  • In the tournament, in which the players were required to make moves from certain positions onwards from well-known games from the past, Hikaru Nakamura of the United States finished runner-up with 3.5 points.
  • Viswanathan Anand was third. The five-time World champion from Chennai scored three points. Bassem Amin of Egypt finished last with one point. 

Sachin Sarjerao Khilari Clinches Gold Medal In Shot Put At World Para Athletics C’ship

Sachin Sarjerao Khilari Clinches Gold Medal In Shot Put At World Para Athletics C’ship

  • In Para Athletics, India’s Sachin Sarjerao Khilari clinched the gold medal in the men’s shot put at the World Para Athletics Championship in Kobe, Japan. He also set a new Asian record with a throw of 16.30 metres in the F46 category, to defended his title at the world championships.
  • Another Indian, Dharambir bagged the Bronze Medal in the Men’s Club Throw. His final throw distance of 33.31 metres not only secured him the Bronze Medal but also set a new Asian Record in the F51 Category.
  • Reigning Paralympics champion Sumit Antil had defended his F64 javelin throw world title, while Thangavelu Mariyappan and Ekta Bhyan also grabbed gold medals in their respective events. Deepthi Jeevanji from Telangana’s Warangal, bagged the gold medal with a world record time of 55.07 seconds in the women’s 400m T20 category race. 
  • With these achievements, India surpassed its previous highest total of 10 medals. India now have 12 medals in their kitty, including 5 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze. China tops the points table with 48 medals.


APPOINTMENTS

Government appoints Ramesh Babu V as Member in Central Electricity Regulatory Commission

Government appoints Ramesh Babu V as Member in Central Electricity Regulatory Commission

  • Ramesh Babu V. has taken oath of office and secrecy as Member, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission(CERC) . The oath of office and secrecy was administered to him, by the Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy Shri R. K. Singh.
  • Prior to his appointment at CERC, he served as the Director (Operations) at NTPC, where he was employed from May 2020 until his retirement. His extensive experience at NTPC also includes various other key roles throughout his tenure at the corporation.
  • The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission was established under the provisions of the Electricity Regulatory Commissions Act, 1998 and is governed by the Electricity Act, 2003.The Commission consists of a Chairperson and three other Members. Additionally, Chairperson, Central Electricity Authority is the ex-officio Member of the Commission.


AWARDS

Sudha Murty’s brother Srinivas R Kulkarni gets Shaw Prize

Sudha Murty’s brother Srinivas R Kulkarni gets Shaw Prize

  • Srinivas R Kulkarni(67), an Indian-origin US scientist and brother of philanthropist Sudha Murty, has been awarded the prestigious Shaw Prize in Astronomy for 2024 for his groundbreaking discoveries on millisecond pulsars, gamma-ray bursts, supernovae and other transient astronomical phenomena.
  • The award citation stated that Kulkarni’s “contributions to time-domain astronomy culminated in the conception, construction, and leadership of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) and its successor, the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), which have revolutionised our understanding of the time-variable optical sky.”
  • Alongside Kulkarni, the 2024 Shaw Prize recipients include Swee Lay Thein and Stuart Orkin from the United States, who received the Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine, and Peter Sarnak, another U.S. scientist, who was awarded the Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences.
  • Shaw Prize is a global award presented the Shaw by Prize Foundation, Hong Kong, in the fields of astronomy, medicine and life sciences mathematical sciences. Each prize carries a monetary award of $1.2 million, recognizing exceptional contributions to these fields.

Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Michael Hofmann, wins the International Booker Prize 2024

Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Michael Hofmann, wins the International Booker Prize 2024

  • Jenny Erpenbeck and Michael Hofmann have jointly won the 2024 International Booker Prize for Erpenbeck’s novel “Kairos,” translated from German by Hofmann. 
  • Jenny Erpenbeck, who was longlisted for the prize in 2018, becomes the first German writer to win it. Michael Hofmann becomes the first male translator to win. Granta Books wins for the second time since 2016, when the prize took its current form. 
  • The £50,000 ($64,000) prize money is divided equally between the author and the translator, celebrating their collaborative efforts in bringing literary masterpieces to a wider audience.

UAE Honours Indian Embassy, Consulate At MoFA Excellence Awards

UAE Honours Indian Embassy, Consulate At MoFA Excellence Awards

  • India’s diplomatic missions in the UAE were recognized for their outstanding work at the 5th Minister of Foreign Affairs  Excellence Awards ceremony held under the patronage of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan,  Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates. 
  • In a rare distinction, India became the only country to receive two honours, with the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General of India in Dubai both awarded the prestigious Shield of Honour. 
  • The awards were received by the Indian Ambassador to the UAE Sunjay Sudhir and Consul General at CGI Dubai Satish Kumar Sivan.
  • This is the first time the Indian Embassy and Consulate have received the MoFA Excellence Awards recognition, highlighting the deepening strategic partnership between the two nations across various sectors.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

IAF chief inaugurates first-ever emergency medical response system in Bengaluru

IAF chief inaugurates first-ever emergency medical response system in Bengaluru

  • Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari has inaugurated its first-ever Emergency Medical Response System(EMRS) of the Indian Air Force at Command Hospital Air Force in Bengaluru.
  • The Emergency Medical Response System (EMRS) has been set up in order to provide expert guidance and definitive care during medical emergencies of serving personnel and their families of the Indian Air Force (IAF) across the nation.
  • The Ministry of Defence said that the EMRS is a first-of-its-kind 24/7 telephonic medical helpline for serving IAF personnel and their families across India. The system aims to provide prompt response by a team of medical and paramedical professionals to the caller experiencing the emergency anywhere across the country.


ENVIRONMENT

Indian Wildlife Institute claims the presence of 4,000 dolphins in the Ganga and its tributaries

Indian Wildlife Institute claims the presence of 4,000 dolphins in the Ganga and its tributaries

  • According to a recent report by the Wildlife Institute of India, there are more than 4000 dolphins in the Gangetic River basin. Out of the 4000 river dolphins found in the Ganga River and its tributaries, more than 2000 are found in Uttar Pradesh alone. In Uttar Pradesh, the dolphins are mainly found in the Chambal River.
  • According to experts, the marked increase in the number of river dolphins in Gangetic river basins indicates that the river’s pollution level is declining and the government’s conservation effort is paying off.
  • The Ganges river dolphin, also known as the blind dolphin, Ganges susu, or Hihu, has the scientific name Platanista gangetica. Historically found in the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems, the dolphin is now present in specific stretches of the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Barak river system in India, as well as in river systems in Nepal and Bangladesh.
  • Following the announcement of Project Dolphin by Prime Minister Modi, public curiosity about this unique and rare mammal has increased. However, a large portion of the population remains unfamiliar with this charismatic megafauna. Thus, conserving Gangetic dolphins will not only raise awareness about this species but also bolster efforts to keep the Ganga clean and flowing.


OBITUARIES

Oscar-winning composer of ‘Finding Neverland’ music, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, passes away

Oscar-winning composer of ‘Finding Neverland’ music, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, passes away

  • Polish composer Jan A P. Kaczmarek, who won a 2005 Oscar for the musical score of Finding Neverland, died. He was 71.
  • Jan A.P. Kaczmarek’s illustrious career spanned both European and Hollywood cinema, with his remarkable musical compositions gracing numerous films. Notable examples include his work on the 1995 film Total Eclipse, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, and the 2002 film Unfaithful, starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane.

Fred Roos, ‘Godfather Part II’ producer and longtime Coppola collaborator, passes away

Fred Roos, 'Godfather Part II' producer and longtime Coppola collaborator, passes away

  • Fred Roos, the Oscar-winning producer of “The Godfather Part II” who helped launch the careers of numerous superstars from Jack Nicholson to Tom Cruise, has died. He was 89.
  • Roos and Coppola worked together for over 50 years, starting with “The Godfather,” where he advised on the casting of Al Pacino and James Caan against the wishes of the studio, and introduced Coppola to John Cazale. He also produced Coppola’s best picture nominees “The Conversation,” “Apocalypse Now” and Parts II and III of “The Godfather.”Other Roos discoveries include Diane Keaton, Laurence Fishburne, Emilio Estevez, Jennifer Connelly and Alden Ehrenreich.


IMPORTANT DAYS

UN General Assembly declares May 24 as int’l day of markhor

UN General Assembly declares May 24 as int'l day of markhor

  • The UN General Assembly passed a resolution, co-sponsored by Pakistan and eight other nations, designating May 24 as the International Day of the Markhor.
  • This resolution urges global recognition of the Day and calls upon relevant stakeholders to prioritize international and regional collaboration to conserve the Markhor due to its crucial role in the ecosystem.
  • It emphasizes the ecological significance of preserving the Markhor and its habitat, highlighting the potential for economic growth and sustainable tourism through conservation efforts.
  • The Markhor, known as the “screw-horned goat,” is Pakistan’s national animal and is found in the mountainous areas of Central and South Asia.


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