Monday, June 24, 2024
Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 25th May, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 25 May 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

Rationalisation of govt bodies WCD ministry ‘officially’ dissolves Food and Nutrition Board

Rationalisation of govt bodies WCD ministry 'officially' dissolves Food and Nutrition Board

  • The Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry has officially dissolved the Food and Nutrition Board. This board, which provided technical and logistical support for community nutrition programmes, has been shut down as part of a government plan to rationalise various bodies. The Food and Nutrition Board was a technical wing of the ministry, headquartered in Delhi.
  • The board, which had a wide network including four regional offices and quality control laboratories in Faridabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai, was responsible for providing technical and logistical support for community nutrition programmes.
  • Besides regional offices and quality control laboratories, the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) maintained 43 Community Food and Nutrition Extension Units (CFNEUs) across the country, providing technical and logistical support for community nutrition programmes. The decision to dissolve the FNB includes measures affecting its employees and assets.

New driving license rules in India from June 1

New driving license rules in India from June 1

  • The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has announced new regulations that will be in effect from June 1, 2024. Individuals don’t need to take the driving test at the government Regional Transport Office (RTO), instead private institutions are now authorised to conduct the tests and issue certificates saying the people they trained can be given driving licences.
  • The Centre will issue certificates to private players authorising them to conduct the driving test. However, in the absence of a certificate from an accredited school, the candidate will have to appear for driving test at an RTO.
  • Driving a car without a valid licence now incurs a penalty that can go as high as ₹2,000. Severe punishments for minors driving include a ₹25,000 fine and potential action against the parents, along with the cancellation of the vehicle’s registration certificate​.

No traces of ethylene oxide found in spice samples by FSSAI

No traces of ethylene oxide found in spice samples by FSSAI

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), which undertook a pan-India testing drive of key spice brands, found no traces of ethylene oxide (EtO) in spice samples, as per officials. 
  • This extensive testing of spice brands was done after food safety regulators of Hong Kong and Singapore had recalled certain spice products of Everest and MDH over presence of EtO beyond permissible limits last month.
  • Last month, the FSSAI started taking samples of spices in powder form of all brands, including MDH and Everest, from across the country in view of quality concerns flagged by Hong Kong and Singapore.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

10th World Water Forum held in Indonesia’s Bali

10th World Water Forum held in Indonesia's Bali

  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo officially opened the 10th World Water Forum With the theme “Water for Shared Prosperity” at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC) in Bali, Indonesia . The Forum’s Fair and Expo also launched with a total of 160 participants from 17 countries.
  • The World Bank released the report “Water for Shared Prosperity,”  at the 10th World Water Forum. It highlights the alarming global water crisis and its implications for human and economic development worldwide.
  • The report points to alarming statistics: In 2022, 2.2 billion people lacked access to safely managed drinking water services, while 3.5 billion lacked access to safely managed sanitation. Furthermore, disparities persist across regions, with rural areas bearing the brunt of inadequate access.
  • Low-income countries, in particular, have seen regression in access to safe drinking water, with an additional 197 million people lacking access since 2000. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has more than half of Africa’s total water resources. Hotspots in the Sahel, Southeastern Africa, and South and Central Asia are the most water stressed.
  • Between 2000 and 2022, the number of people without access to safely managed drinking water and basic sanitation increased by 197 million people and 211 million people, respectively. Moreover, in these countries access to improved water and sanitation services at schools and health facilities has not increased much since 2014

University of Tokyo inaugurates world’s highest observatory in Chile

University of Tokyo inaugurates world's highest observatory in Chile

  • The University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory (TAO) is the highest astronomical observatory in the world as certified by the Guinness World Record. TAO sits at an altitude of 5,640m on the summit of a mountain in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert.
  • The 6.5m infrared-optimised telescope is finally up and running after 26 years of planning and construction.Equipped with instruments like SWIMS and MIMIZUKU, it will facilitate studies on galaxy evolution and planet formation.
  • Located in the Chilean Atacama Desert, the new complex is not far from the ALMA radio telescope (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array), one of the largest astronomical projects in the world and participated by an international association of countries.


BANKING & FINANCE

Unclaimed deposits with banks soar to ₹42,270 crore

30 banks join RBI UDGAM portal for unclaimed deposits

  • Unclaimed deposits in India soared 2.5x post-Covid, reaching ₹42,270 crore, according to recent data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). State Bank of India leads, followed by Punjab National Bank and ICICI Bank.
  • As of December 2022, unclaimed balances across various accounts, including current, savings, and fixed deposits (FDs), reached Rs 39,900 crore, marking a substantial increase from Rs 18,379 crore recorded in December 2019.
  • Public sector banks held the majority share of unclaimed deposits at Rs 33,303 crore, representing 83% of the total unclaimed funds as of December 2022. Notably, the State Bank of India, the largest public sector lender, holds a staggering Rs 8,069 crore across 2.16 crore unclaimed accounts. Similarly, Punjab National Bank has seen its unclaimed deposits surge almost fivefold from 2019, reaching Rs 5,298 crore.
  • Among private banks, ICICI Bank holds 31.8 lakh accounts amounting to Rs 1,074 crore in unclaimed deposits, while HDFC Bank’s unclaimed deposits have doubled since 2019, reaching ₹447 crore.
  • RBI has introduced the online portal UDGAM (Unclaimed Deposits-Gateway to Access Information) in 2023, enabling users to search for unclaimed deposits across multiple banks. Currently, 30 banks are part of UDGAM, hosting information on unclaimed funds. RBI has also mandated banks to conduct regular reviews of large unclaimed amounts and proactively reach out to customers.

TCS signs deal with Kuwait’s Burgan Bank

TCS signs deal with Kuwait's Burgan Bank

  • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a global leader in IT services, consulting, and business solutions, has signed a deal to modernize the core banking technology of Burgan Bank, a leading commercial bank in Kuwait.
  • The bank will deploy TCS BaNCS to consolidate multiple standalone legacy applications into a contemporary universal banking solution that drives innovation and strengthens customer relationships.
  • Burgan Bank is one of the youngest commercial banks in Kuwait, with a regional network of over 160 branches and 360 ATMs. It will harness the products of the TCS BaNCSTM suite such as core and digital banking, payments, retail and corporate loan origination, wealth management, regulatory compliance, and more to simplify and digitally transform its technology landscape.

HSBC and StanChart step up GIFT City play, buy stakes in CCIL-IFSC

India surpasses China, emerges as HSBC`s third-largest profit hub in 2023

  • HSBC, a leading global bank and financial services major, has through its branch in Gift City executed transaction documents to acquire 6.125 per cent equity stake in CCIL IFSC Limited (CCIL IFSC). The investment value for this transaction stood at ₹6.125 crore. 
  • The indicative period for the completion of the transaction, which involves the acquisition of 6.125 million equity shares at ₹10 each, is up to six months from the date of execution of the transaction documents.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

India only country among top 5 largest steel producers in world to see growth in production

Government forms 14th task force to explore use of Biochar in Steel production

  • According to the World Steel Association, India is the only country amongst the world’s top five crude steel-producing countries to record positive growth in production during April 2024. India, which is the second largest producer of crude steel in the world, recorded a growth rate of 3.9 per cent in April 2024 as compared to April 2023.
  • The world’s crude steel production was 155.7 million tonnes in April 2024, a 5.0% decrease as compared to April 2023. India produced 12.1 million tonnes of crude steel in April 2024, an increase of 3.9 per cent compared to April 2023.
  • The world’s largest steel producer, China, recorded a decline of 7.2 per cent to 85.9 million tonnes in April. China has an excess steel-producing capacity and relies on exports to keep its steel mills running. Recently, the United States of America has imposed duties on the import of Chinese steel, which is one reason for the decline in Chinese steel production.

Sebi amends rule to facilitate ease of doing biz for firms planning IPOs

SEBI directs AMFI to stop inflows into overseas schemes of MFs from April 1

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has announced the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2018 (“SEBI ICDR Regulations”) to  allow non-promoter shareholders to contribute towards the shortfall in minimum promoters’ contribution in an initial public offering (IPO) without being identified as a promoter.
  • Rules mandate at least 20% of promoters’ shares to be locked in for a certain period of time post listing after an IPO.
  • Market regulator ,Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) amended SEBI (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations 2018 to facilitate ease of doing business for companies going for initial public offerings (IPOs) or fund raising.

Noise acquires women’s wellness platform SocialBoat

Noise acquires women’s wellness platform SocialBoat

  • Noise, a prominent smartwatch brand, has announced the acquisition of SocialBoat, an AI-powered women’s wellness platform, for an undisclosed amount. This move is part of Noise’s strategy to advance innovation in smart rings, particularly its premium wearable, the Luna Ring.
  • The acquisition of SocialBoat is expected to enhance Noise’s technology offerings and build specialized capabilities. 
  • With this integration, Noise aims to improve the health tracking features of the Luna Ring, thereby benefiting women users by providing comprehensive well-being support.

Liminal Custody registers as FIU-IND reporting entity in India

Liminal Custody registers as FIU-IND reporting entity in India

  • Liminal Custody, a Singapore-based digital asset custody and wallet infrastructure platform, announced the registration of its Indian entity ‘First Answer India Technologies Private Limited’ with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of India.
  • The FIU registration empowers Liminal Custody to operate seamlessly within India’s established regulatory framework to combat money laundering and terrorist financing activities. This strengthens its position as a trusted partner for institutions seeking to confidently navigate the digital asset landscape, said the company.
  • The FIU registration significantly enhances our ability to serve institutional clients across India, providing them with the peace of mind and regulatory compliance they deserve. 

Indian Data Centre industry valued at $5.7 billion set to expand with 791 MW capacity by 2026

Indian Data Centre industry valued at $5.7 billion set to expand with 791 MW capacity by 2026

  • The Data Centre (DC) industry in India is expected to expand, adding 791 MW of capacity by 2026, according to a report by real estate and investment management company JLL. This growth will require 10 million square feet of space and will attract $5.7 billion in investments.
  • The surge is due to the rising use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). With the growing use of AI, the demand for Indian data centres is projected to reach between 650 and 800 MW from 2024 to 2026.
  • The report points out that Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), who essentially offer IT infrastructure systems primarily for data storage and computing power accessible through the Internet, have realigned their requirements to factor in AI-led demand. The CSPs have also announced higher investments to scale up AI-led growth. 
  • The report indicates a 12 per cent rise in absorption to 81 MW during the latter half of 2023, up from 72 MW recorded during the corresponding period in the previous year. This growth is attributed to the resurgence of cloud service providers (CSPs) following a temporary slowdown in the first half of 2023. In Mumbai, absorption nearly doubled during this period as CSPs resumed their pace of uptake.

IIT Madras partners with SilTerra Malaysia for silicon photonic processor chips

IIT Madras partners with SilTerra Malaysia for silicon photonic processor chips

  • The Silicon Photonics Centre of Excellence – Centre for Programmable Photonic Integrated Circuits and Systems (Silicon Photonics CoE-CPPICS) at Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) is partnering with SilTerra Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. for joint development of programmable silicon photonic processor chips. This is especially for quantum computing and communication system level applications.
  • The partnership will be joint R&D on novel silicon photonic devices and circuits for energy efficient high-speed interconnect solutions for data centres, high-performance computing, and for AI/ML applications.
  • With Bharat moving towards establishing commercial semiconductor fabrication facilities, there is an imminent need to augment the same with research and human capacity development efforts. This engagement is expected to help achieve that objective on contemporary technologies. 

Cisco and Tata Communications partner to launch Webex Calling in India

Cisco and Tata Communications partner to launch Webex Calling in India

  • Cisco and Tata Communications launched their Webex Calling solution in India with cloud public switched telephone network (PSTN), aimed at helping enterprises move from on-premises phone systems to a global cloud calling system.
  • The calls will be routed via Tata Communications’ data centre in the Mumbai region, thereby helping organisations stay compliant with local regulations.
  • Users across the country will have access to additional collaboration workloads in the Webex Suite, including Meetings, Messaging, and Webinars, AI-powered innovations such as audio intelligence, and a complete range of devices and more. 


APPOINTMENTS

Chad President Deby appoints Allamaye Halina as new prime minister

Chad President Deby appoints Allamaye Halina as new prime minister

  • Chadian President Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno appointed Allamaye Halina as the new prime minister
  • Halina assume the post of prime minister after Succes Masra announced his resignation from the position recently. Deby won a sweeping 61 percent of the May 6 vote that international NGOs said was neither credible nor free.
  • He was proclaimed transitional president in April 2021 after rebels killed his father, Idriss Deby, who had himself ruled Chad since a coup in the early 1990s.

Delhi High Court Appoints Retired Justice Najmi Waziri As Chairperson Of Equestrian Federation Of India’s Ad-Hoc Administrative Committee

Delhi High Court Appoints Retired Justice Najmi Waziri As Chairperson Of Equestrian Federation Of India's Ad-Hoc Administrative Committee

  • The Delhi High Court has appointed its retired judge, Justice Najmi Waziri, as the Chairperson of ad-hoc Administrative Committee constituted to supervise the administration of the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI).
  • Justice Tara Vitasta Ganju also directed that the committee will also comprise of former Chief Election Commissioner of India Dr. S.Y. Quraishi as the observer and Advocate.
  • The court said the committee shall take over charge of day-to-day administration and functioning of the EFI and the existing office bearers shall no longer be entitled to discharge any function but render all requisite assistance to the committee.


AWARDS

FTII student bags ‘La Cinef’ Award at 77th Cannes Film Festival

FTII student bags ‘La Cinef’ Award at 77th Cannes Film Festival

  • SUNFLOWERS WERE THE FIRST ONES TO KNOW”, a course end film by Chidanand Naik, a student of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), received the Cannes’ La Cinef Award for Best Short at 77th Cannes Film Festival in France.
  • The film has been directed by Chidananda S Naik, shot by Suraj Thakur, edited by Manoj V and sound by Abhishek Kadam. This is a historic moment for the Indian Cinema. 
  • Indian films have been receiving accolades at international stage, particularly FTII has performed remarkably well at Cannes with its students’ films being screened at the festival in past few years. The current recognition comes four years after another FTII student film ‘CATDOG’ won an award at 73rd Cannes. 

NHPC conferred with ‘The Economic Times HR World Future Ready Organization Award 2024-25’

NHPC conferred with ‘The Economic Times HR World Future Ready Organization Award 2024-25

  • NHPC, India’s premier hydropower company, has been conferred with the prestigious ‘The Economic Times HR World Future Ready Organization Award 2024-25’. The Award was received by Director (Personnel), NHPC,  Uttam Lal along with Executive Director (HR),  Lucas Guria and a team of NHPC officers at a glittering Awards Ceremony held in Mumbai. 
  • The Award has been given to NHPC in recognition of its preparedness in the areas of upskilling of employees, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) interventions, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives, constant technological upgradations, Employee Engagement processes, robust Corporate Governance strategies etc. which establish it as a trusted brand amongst all its stakeholders.

Pink E-Rickshaw driver, Arti from Uttar Pradesh wins UK’s royal award

Pink E-Rickshaw driver from Uttar Pradesh wins UK’s royal award

  • Arti, 18-year-old rickshaw driver from a village in Bahraich district of Uttar Pradesh  received the Amal Clooney Women’s Empowerment Award, named after the world-renowned human rights barrister, at the Prince’s Trust Awards in London followed by a meeting with the 75-year-old monarch.
  • She was honoured for inspiring other young girls through her work with the government’s Pink e-rickshaw initiative, which provides safe transport for other women with a mission to drive change, quite literally.
  • The Prince’s Trust women’s empowerment award recognises the global work of young women who have succeeded against the odds and made a lasting difference to those around them.
  • In July 2023, Project Lehar, in partnership with Prince’s Trust International and the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), launched the Government of India’s Pink E-Rickshaw program, an initiative to empower women and expand their income-earning opportunities worldwide. 

UAE President confers first class Independence Medal on Ambassador Of Paraguay

UAE President confers first class Independence Medal on Ambassador Of Paraguay

  • UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan awarded the First-Class Medal of Independence to Jose Aguero Avila, Ambassador of the Republic of Paraguay to the UAE, on the occasion of the end of his tenure as ambassador to the country.
  • The medal was conferred in appreciation of Avila’s efforts during his tenure which contributed to the development and advancement of bilateral relations across various fields.

Thiruvananthapuram International Airport receives zero waste to landfill accolade

Thiruvananthapuram International Airport receives zero waste to landfill accolade

  • Thiruvananthapuram International Airport has made history by becoming the first airport in India to achieve the Zero Waste to Landfill (ZWL) accolade. 
  • This recognition, awarded by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII-ITC) Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development, highlights the airport’s exceptional waste management practices and commitment to sustainability.
  • The ZWL assessment confirmed that Thiruvananthapuram International Airport has successfully implemented best-in-class waste management strategies, achieving an impressive 99.50 per cent diversion of waste from landfills.
  • The airport has managed to completely divert 100 per cent of its plastic waste and 100 per cent of its municipal solid waste (MSW), which includes both wet and dry waste, from landfills.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

India’s first research testbed to study Nor’westers getting ready

India’s first research testbed to study Nor’westers getting ready

  • Meteorologists will soon be able to deploy drones, mobile vans and high-end instruments to track the monstrous nor’westers, or Kalbaisakhi, that affect the east and northeast regions of India every summer.
  • The proposed multi-crore rupees research testbed facility will cover a large area adjoining West Bengal, Odisha, and Jharkhand. The control centre will be at Chandbali in the Bhadrak district of Odisha, about 130 km east of Bhubaneswar.
  • India Meteorological Department (IMD), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, and National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), Delhi, will jointly develop and use this facility. This facility will be completed by 2026.
  • It aims to study thunderstorms from the formation stage, growth, and propagation over eastern parts of the country. This will be done using meteorological instruments, drones, and other equipment that will aid in the systematic tracking of thunderstorms. 


ENVIRONMENT 

Cyclone Remal: A severe cyclone is heading towards India

Cyclone Remal: A severe cyclone is heading towards India

  • The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a warning against severe Cyclone Remal, which is expected to hit West Bengal. 
  • The weather department said the cyclone will bring extremely heavy rainfall and strong winds to coastal regions of Bangladesh and West Bengal on May 26. 
  • As per IMD, along with West Bengal, other Northeastern states like Tripura, Assam, Nagaland and Manipur may witness rainfall and strong winds.
  • The IMD has predicted it will strengthen into a cyclonic storm and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm. 


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